CAMP ELIAS ANGELES, Pili, Camarines Sur – A soldier and a CAFGU companion survived the ambush staged by NPA rebels in Sitio Salvacion, Bgy Gurang-gurang, Donsol, Sorsogon on 29 January 2010 at around 3:30pm, a military officer said here today.
Major Harold Cabunoc, 9ID Spokesperson said that SSg Montano V Escano, commander of the CAFGU Detachment in Bgy Gurang-gurang, received a phone call from a Bgy Kagawad (village councilman) about the presence of NPA extortionists in his baranggay. Together with two CAFGUs, Sgt Escano, in civilian attire, proceeded to the said baranggay on board a motorcycle at around 2:30pm to check the reported extortion. He brought with him his issued Cal .45 pistol for self-defense.
Since the heavily-armed extortionists have left the said place, Sgt Escano and his buddies decided to go back to the detachment and await for the updates as promised by the village councilman. But on their way back, they were ambushed in Sitio Salvacion by more or less 10 heavily armed rebels who were occupying covered and concealed positions. All three of them were hit in the initial volley of fires. The driver, CAA Enrique Sicad, died instantly while Sgt Escano and CAA Noel Dela Cerna were wounded. But inspite of his wounds, Sgt Escano bravely fought it out with the enemy using only his Cal .45 pistol against the high-powered firearms of the attackers. Sgt Escano eventually killed one of the rebels and recovered one M16 rifle, a hand grenade and a rifle grenade.
Dazed and confused by the ferocity of the wounded soldiers, the NPA rebels scampered to different directions. One rebel however was caught by responding villagers and was later identified as Rolly Jorojoro y Diloso of Sitio Tinuldukan, Bgy San Roque, Jovellar, Sorsogon.
The wounded soldiers were immediately evacuated to the nearest hospital for treatment while the dead CAFGU was brought to a funeral parlor in Donsol, Sorsogon together with the dead NPA bandit.
At around 6:30am on 30 January 2010, troops of 49IB under LTC SANTIAGO ENGINCO, apprehended one of the ambushers in Sitio Makawayan, Gatbo, Bacon District, Sorsogon. The two NPA bandits were identified as Romeo Ditan and Jofer Escandor. A caliber .38 revolver and a cal .45 pistol with ammunitions and subversive documents were recovered from the two.
Local residents of Donsol have worked closely with the AFP to fight NPA rebels who have continuously attempted to destroy the flourishing tourism industry in said municipality. The populace fully realize that progress in their town will be elusive for as long as the NPA terrorists are in their midst. "We are tired of their (NPA rebels) extortion activities. We are not their slaves! Why don't they (NPA) work for themselves also?", said one resident.