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8th ID army chief condemns ruthless acts of NPAs in North Samar

By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
June 2, 2009

TACLOBAN CITY  –  Major General Arthur Tabaquero, commanding general of the 8th Infantry Division based at Camp Lukban, Catbalogan, Samar, condemned the brutal attack and heartless killing of two soldiers and 2 civilians and the wounding of another soldier, at 1:30 in the afternoon of May 30, in Barangay Polangi, Catarman town, allegedly, by the members of the New Peoples Army operating in Northern Samar.

8th Infantry Division chief MGen. Arthur Tabaquero
MGen. Arthur Tabaquero

Adona Lira, a young mother who was about four months pregnant and her less than two years old daughter Shifra Ann Lira, went to the temporary detachment of the 20th Infantry Battalion section at Barangay Polangi, Catarman, Northern Samar in the morning of May 30, 2009, to visit her husband who is a soldier belonging to the detachment, and also to get the salary of her husband.

Little did Adona know that it would be the last time to be together as a family; and that was the last chance for her to see her loved ones.

About 50 communist terrorists aboard two privately-owned Isuzu Elf trucks and one dump truck, parked in front of the detachment at about 1:30 in the afternoon and all at once, threw grenades and fired high-powered rifles at the temporary detachment of the surprised troopers of the 20th Infantry Battalion section.

Adona and two other soldiers died, while her soldier husband and her less than two years old daughter were wounded and brought to a hospital in Tacloban. Unfortunately, the innocent child, Shifra Ann, died at the hospital.

“Victimizing innocent civilians is a clear violation of the agreement on Comprehensive Agreement on Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CAHRIL) and a brazen violation of Humanitarian International Law,” MajGen. Tabaquero said.

“The military is now conducting hot pursuit operation on the perpetrators of the merciless crime,” MajGen. Tabaquero intimated. The owners of the private vehicles used have already been identified, he added.

The commanding general also called on the public to provide information on the whereabouts of those behind this ruthless attack, so that they could be brought to justice and so that they will no longer be able to repeat the brutal act.

The commanding officer disclosed that a section of the 20th Infantry Battalion based at Calbayog City was temporarily assigned at Barangay Polangi, Catarman, Northern Samar upon the request of the Northern Samar PENRO because of alleged illegal logging activities and NPA citing in the area.