CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Philippines – The Philippine Army’s 4th Infantry Division (4ID) has started its investigation into the attack of a military detachment carried out by suspected Communist rebels who then held hostage two soldiers and 12 militiamen in a village in Agusan del Sur early Wednesday morning from the said detachment, a 4ID official said Thursday.
Capt. Reggie Go, acting Division Public Affairs Office chief of the 4ID, said the division’s Board of Inquiry has begun investigating the incident.
“If found out that the captured troops have committed neglect of duty, they will be held accountable before the military justice system, with corresponding punishment,” he said.
According to reports, around 50 New People’s Army (NPA) fighters took the resting troops by surprise as they entered the detachment’s premises and carted away assorted firearms including 17 M16 rifles and, two R4 assault rifles. A Harris handheld radio was also taken.
In a statement, Sandara Amihan, spokesperson of the NPA Northeastern Mindanao region, said that the NPA rebels carried out the raid without firing a single shot.
Go said the board went to the scene of the attack as part of its investigation, and they will try to determine what were the lapses committed by the soldiers.
Although Go did not specify if the captive troopers will face the prospect of removal from service due to the incident, Maj. Gen. Ronald Villanueva, commander of the 4ID, was quoted as saying in a radio interview that those taken by the rebels may be discharged.
Go added that Maj. Gen. Ronald Villanueva, commander of the 4ID, has said the military will not negotiate with the NPA on the release of the soldiers and militiamen.
Meanwhile, a statement from the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) posted on the Philippine Revolution Web Central said it has lauded the “successful tactical offensives mounted by [NPA] in Agusan del Sur, Samar, Sorsogon and elsewhere over the past two days.”
These combat assaults, the CPP added, “are resounding blows against the Duterte regime’s martial law rule in Mindanao and across the country.”(davaotoday.com)