Seven soldiers slain in NPA ambush in Compostela Valley

THE New People’s Army (NPA) killed seven Army soldiers in an ambush staged by guerrillas in Sitio Quarry Benguet, Barangay Salvacion, Monkayo, Compostela Valley, on July 1.  

Roel Agustin II, spokesman of the NPA-Compostela Valley-Davao East Coast Sub-Regional Operations Command, said a company of NPA fighters clashed with a scout platoon of the 25th Infantry Battalion (IB) of the Philippine Army, killing seven soldiers and wounding several others.

“The NPA confiscated one R4 assault rifle, seven military packs, one military Riflescope and hundreds of rounds of ammunition for M60 and K3 machine guns,” Agustin said.

On June 12 NPA guerrillas also blasted the detachment of the 25th  IB in Barangay Rizal and demolished a detachment of the 72nd IB in Sitio Dipo, Barangay Upper Ulip, on June 22.

“In retaliation, the military immediately shelled the civilian areas with 105-millimeter howitzer rounds for two straight days. MG-520 attack helicopters also conducted bombing runs on nearby villages six times, while Army soldiers burned nine houses of peasants and Lumad in Sitio 56, Barangay Rizal,” Agustin said.

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Graduated from the University of the Philippines-Diliman with a bachelor's degree in journalism, finished all courses for a masteral degree in communication, earned six units of doctoral subjects. Took courses in anthropology, archaeology and sociology as well as Philippine studies, Wrote for the pre-martial law Manila Times and covered the First Quarter Storm and later helped edit a Makati-based business magazine. Returned to the Manila Times in 1986, covered the insurgency, business and eventually the justice beat. Handled the foreign news section of Malaya from 1992 to 1994, worked with the late Antonio Ma. Nieva on a newspaper specializing in corporate wars for two years. Joined the Manila Bulletin as assistant provincial editor in 2000 and retired in 2012.