CATBALOGAN CITY — A group of armed men,
believed to be members of the dreaded New People’s
Army (NPA) apparently attacked members of the
government troops belong to 52nd Infantry Battalion in Sitio Cabatas, Barangay 4 Jipapad, Eastern
Samar, 6:45am today, July 7.
In an initial report obtained by the Samar Weekly Express,
it said that around thirty (30) NPA rebels waylaid a group of
combined soldiers and Civilian Armed Forces Geographical
Unit (CAFGU) while the troops was trekking from their main
base – 52nd Infantry Battalion based in Jipapad, Eastern Samar
to a newly detachment being constructed by them.
The team led by TSgt. Junar Carpila, while they were two
kilometers away from the 52nd IB, and some 70 meters away
from their newly-built detachment, were attacked by the rebels by
blasting three (3) improvised explosive devices (IEDs) followed
by a heavy fire.
Immediately, six (6) Cafgu personnel were wounded while
one (1) AFP and two (2) Cafgu personnel were killed in action
At least 20 minutes of firefight ensued until the rebels fled.
Those wounded CAA were identified as Edwin C. Adamero,
Francis A. Legarse, Manny D. Maestre, Ronilo P. Porton, Jeffrey
R. Pajanustan, and Helbert O. Pajanustan.
Killed in action (KIA) during the 20 mins firefight were TSGt Junar Carpila, and two (2) CAA namely Mark Donald Lomuntad,
and Geremias Etcobañas.
The military, however, couldn’t establish casualties from the
enemy side.
Responders rushed the injured troops to the Arteche District
Hospital and in a hospital in Tacloban City for medical treatment.
But later on, the SWE received reports that one of those
hospitalized perished making the over-all tally of death to 4
and 5 wounded. It was not known yet who among the wounded
As to this time, hot pursuit operations is still ongoing against
the fleeing NPA perpetrators.
In a July 7 statement, Major General Pio Diñoso III, commander of 8th ID condemned the incident saying “the continuous use of members of the terrorist NPAs of anti-personnel mines that
have been banned since 1997 is a blatant violation of the International Humanitarian Law and displays the true nature of the CPP
NPA NDF – lawless terrorists and cowards who attack unarmed
soldiers and off-duty CAFGU active auxiliaries doing non-combat
duties. For this, they deserve our highest level of condemnation.”
“This recent attack is a desperate act of these terrorists as the
campaign to defeat them has reached an irreversible stage. With
their backs against the wall, it is expected they will resort to their
old barbaric ways. With that, our soldiers’ ultimate sacrifices will
not be in vain,” the Army general said.
In his message, General Diñoso assured the people in Eastern
Visayas that government campaign using the whole-of-nation
approach to end communist insurgency “is very effective and on
track… to finally put an end to the CPP NPA NDF and make the
region attain the just and lasting peace it aspires for.”