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12月21日のまにら新聞から

Lorenzana said detachment may have "relaxed", leading to NPA hostage taking

[ 299 words|2018.12.21|英字 (English) ]

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana on Thursday said a patrol base of the Army's 3rd Special Forces in Agusan del Sur may have been infiltrated by communist rebels as a militiaman is supposedly related to a New People's Army member.

In an interview, Lorenzana said there may have been lapses as the detachment were overran by around 50 rebels.

"Maybe they relaxed in the detachment. There are two soldiers plus 12 Cafgu's. They are fully armed. Normally we expect the patrol to be properly constructed to not be overran," he said.

"We are also looking at the angle (that) someone may have entered, befriended the miltiamen so that's why they are overpowered," he added.

Lorenzana said they are verifying reports that a militiaman is related to a NPA rebel and if he was used as "conduit" for the rebels to enter without being suspected.

Twelve militiamen and two soldiers, a corporal and a private first class were abducted by 50 New People’s Army rebels who attacked the Army Special Forces patrol base in a remote area in Sibagat, Agusan del Sur last December 19.

Lorenzana said commanders are investigating the incident and conducting rescue operation.

He said Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process led by former Armed Forces chief Carlito Galvez Jr. will be on top of this incident.

The defense chief said the rebels may use the abductees as leverage to stop military operations in the area.

"They supposedly want to stop military operation in their area but we will not stop. I think the soldiers and the Cafgu know that we at war with these people," he said.

Lorenzana said they are confident in defeating the communist rebels by next year under Executive Order No.70, which is the government's approach to addressing communist insurgency. Ella Dionisio/DMS