Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Drive-by Shooting by Suspected NPA Rebels Hurt a Militiaman in Masbate

CAMP ELIAS ANGELES, Pili, Camarines Sur – An off-duty CAFGU personnel was seriously hurt in a drive-by shooting perpetrated by suspected NPA rebels in Masbate Province last Monday, June 21, 2010.

LtCol Anthony Purugganan, Commander of the 9th Infantry Battalion identified the casualty as Ronaldo Mesa, member of the 1st Masbate CAFGU Active Auxiliary based in Puro village in Aroroy town.

Purugganan said that Mesa was standing in front of his house in Cabangaalan village in the same municipality when he was shot by three suspected NPA rebels, hitting him three times in his body. The perpetrators immediately fled towards the direction of Malubi village after the incident.

“CAA Mesa is on vacation when he was shot by the NPA terrorists. This is a clear indication that they continue to target unarmed soldiers and CAFGU personnel who are spending their vacation with their respectively family,” said Purugganan.

Mesa was immediately brought to a hospital in Masbate City for treatment. He is declared to be ‘in good condition’ by attending physicians.

Major Harold Cabunoc, 9ID Spokesperson, said that seven CAFGU personnel had been killed by NPA rebels since January 2010.

Two soldiers were also among the victims of extra-judicial killings, the latest of which was Private First Class Francisco Nodado who was gunned down in Camarines Sur on June 11, 2010.

Cabunoc added that civilians were not also spared in the killings perpetrated by the CPP-NPA. On May 24, 2010, Imelda Madrilejos, the sister of Private First Class Gene Velasco was also shot and killed by NPA rebels in Aroroy, Masbate.

“The NPA rebels are becoming very desperate because of the series of tactical losses they suffered from the government forces. They are now intensifying their efforts to kill unarmed military personnel by murdering them while on vacation. We have lodged a complaint before the Commission of Human Rights regarding these violations which they arrogantly owned-up,” said Cabunoc.

Major General Ruperto Pabustan, Commander of the 9th Infantry Division has directed all units under his Command to be vigilant against the NPA’s attacks against unarmed soldiers and other ‘soft targets’ such as telecom facilities.

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