Two Army soldiers, including a junior military officer, and a civilian were injured, in an assassination attempt carried out by five suspected New People’s Army rebels in Sipalay City, Negros Occidental, 5:35 p.m. yesterday.
Army 2Lt. Rigor Borja and Cpl. Juanito Fernando, both members of the 47th Infantry Battalion Peace and Development Teams, were attacked and shot by two alleged assassins, one of them a young woman, while they were visiting the house of a retired soldier in Brgy. Camindangan, Sipalay City.
1lt. Rey Balibagoso, 47th IB Civil Military Operations officer, said Borja was hit in the back, while Fernando, who sustained a gunshot wound in the leg, managed to return fire, hitting the rebel amazon.
Balibago said a civilian identified as Roderick Samolde was also hit in the buttocks, after the two rebel assassins opened fire at Borja and Fernando, inside his house.
The injured amazon assassin wasrescued by her companions and three other rebels acted as their back-up forces, as they fled towards the Camindangan public market, beforeArmy soldiers arrived.
Traces of bloodstains were also seen along withdrawal route of the fleeing rebels, Balibagoso said.
Describing the assassination as an act of cowardice and deserved to be condemned , Col. Oscar Lactao, 303rd Infantry Brigade commander, said Borja and Fernando were not in actual combat operation.
By not sparing a civilian in the liquidation attempt, Lactao said “it shows the utter disregard of innocent lives by the NPA”.
Borja, a platoon leader of the Peace and Development Team who is conducting immersion activities in the barangay, Fernando and Samolde are now in a stable condition, Lt. Col. Isabelo de los Reyes, 303rd IB Civil Military Operations officer, said last night.
The two injured soldiers and civilian were initially brought to the Candoni Emergency Hospital for treatment, before they were transferred to another hospital in Kabankalan City.
Balibagoso, who also condemned the incident, said the violent action of the NPA Special Partisan Unit is a clear violation of human rights, because they do not consider the safety of civilians.
Barangay Camindangan, which located in the tri-boundaries of Sipalay, Candoni and Cauayan, used to the stronghold of the CPP-NPA in southern Negros, before the Army established a detachment in the place.*GPB