MANILA - The New People's Army (NPA) on Thursday claimed responsibility for the fatal shooting of 2 members of the Philippine Marines and a separate bombing incident in Palawan province this week.
NPA Spokesperson Salvador Luminoso said members of the Mt. Mantalingahan Command (MMC) bombed a truck used by the Philippine Marines in Bataraza, Palawan last Tuesday.
"Isinagawa ang sapper operation na ito upang parusahan ang mga Marines na mula pa noong Hunyo ay patuloy sa paglulunsad ng combat at civil military operation sa bayan ng Brookes Point at Bataraza na nakalikha ng mga dislokasyon at takot sa mga katutubong Palaw’n," Luminoso said in a statement.
Authorities said a Marine was wounded in the attack. The NPA however claimed the bombing left one soldier dead.
Luminoso also owned up to the killing of 2 Marines, who were gunned down while they were at a market in Roxas, Palawan Wednesday.
NPA rebels behind the attack, he said, wanted to put a cap on the government's Oplan Kapayapaan initiative in the province. Luminoso claimed the program only seeks to open Palawan to foreign businesses.
The Army's Western Command has condemned the attacks and launched pursuit operations against the NPA.
The rebel group was also tagged in an ambush that killed a member of the Citizen Armed Force Geographical Unit in Arakan, North Cotabato Wednesday.
The ambush prompted the government to cancel its backchannel peace talks with the NPA's political wing, the National Democratic Front, due to the recent attacks. -- With Ron Lopez, DZMM