DAVAO CITY – The 10th Infantry Division of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) strongly denounced the allegations of the New People’s Army regarding a recent ambush that could stall President Duterte’s call for peace.
Reports claim that the NPA attacked a group of Civilian Armed Forces Geographical Unit (CAFGU) on July 27, something which the rebel group’s spokesperson Aris Francisco claim was an initiative to defend their unit.
The attack, which happened two days after Duterte called for a unilateral ceasefire during his first State of the Nation Address (SONA), forced the president to ask for an explanation from the rebel group.
“The fascist AFP deceived its own Commander-in-Chief by saying that the NPA violated the unilateral ceasefire when it waylaid the PDOP (Peace & Development Outreach Program) troops who were returning to their detachment,” said Francisco. “Had the Red fighters not taken the initiative to actively defend itself by intercepting the 72nd Infantry Battalion Alamara troops, the operating AFP troops would have carried out its own combat action and inflicted damage against the NPA unit.”
10th ID spokesperson Rhyan Batchar said the division “strongly takes offense on the malicious and unfounded allegations of the NPA spokesperson that the AFP deceived the President on the ambush of CAAs in Davao del Norte on July 27.”
“The NPA’s allegation is completely false as the ambush site is two to three days walk from the CAA patrol base in Sitio Patil, Barangay Gupitan, Kapalong, Davao del Norte and the ambush happened at about 6:45 in the morning of July 27,” Batchar said.
Batchar said the CAAs, while on security patrol were in Sitio Muling, Barangay Gupitan when the President declared the ceasefire during his SONA on the afternoon of July 25.
They received the order to stop all offensive actions in the same afternoon. On July 26, the CAAs stood down and prepared for their movement back to their patrol base in Sitio Patil.
On July 27 at around 6:45 in the morning, the CAAs on their way back to their patrol base while crossing a river in Sitio Kamunoan, Barangay Gupitan were ambushed by around 30 NPAs under Guerilla Front 34.
The NPAs hit the CAAs with IED and gunfires which resulted to almost an hour of firefight that led to the death of one CAFGU member and the wounding of four others. (YAS D. OCAMPO)