CAMP ELIAS ANGELES, Pili, Camarines Sur – Heavily armed members of the local terrorist group ambushed the participants of a tree planting activity in Bgy Montecarmelo, Castilla, Sorsogon at around 11:00am yesterday, February 19, 2010.
The tree planting participants were composed of soldiers belonging to the 903rd Brigade, Philippine Army. They were on board a M35 military truck and a civilian dump truck provided by the local government office of Castilla when more or less 6 bandits ambushed the vehicle convoy as they were returning to their base.
Five soldiers were injured when the military truck crashed into a ravine while another soldier, identified as Pfc Erland Soliva, sustained gunshot wound on his left hand. All injured soldiers were brought to a local hospital for treatment as a company of soldiers was sent to pursue the bandits. The six injured soldiers were reported to be in stable condition.
It is the third ambuscade conducted by the bandit group in CY 2010. In early January, three unarmed military personnel were also ambushed in Donsol, Sorsogon resulting to the death of a militiaman and one of the ambushers.
Major Eric Jamorabon, PIO of the 903rd Brigade, said that the series of attacks were intended to sow fear on the local populace. “It is one of their strategies to extort on the residents, especially the politicians who are running for elective posts this year.”, Jamorabon added.