NPA attack disrupts Surigao del Sur typhoon evacuation, leaves 3 dead: governor


Posted at Dec 15 2021 04:28 PM

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MANILA — An attack by the New People's Army (NPA) left 3 dead during typhoon evacuation efforts in Surigao del Sur, the southern province's governor said on Wednesday. 

NPA fighters sprung an ambush in Barangay Esperanza, Carmen town while troops were helping residents move to safe ground ahead of the incoming onslaught of typhoon Odette, said Governor Alexander Pimentel. 

Three civilians died in the attack, he said. 

"Ang hiling ko sana, sa mga kapwa Pilipino natin na NPA, ‘wag na tayo magpatayan kasi ang army tumutulong sa evacuation. Bakit in-ambush n’yo?" Pimentel said in a televised public briefing. 

(I appeal to our fellow Filipinos who are part of the NPA, let us not kill each other because the army is helping in the evacuation. Why did you ambush them?)

The interior department condemned the incident. 

"Nananawagan po kami sa kanila na sana naman unahin nila ang bansa bago ang kanilang pansariling mga interes, na imbis na makatulong pa sila, sila pa ngayon ang sumisira sa magandang ginagawa ng ating pamahalaan," Interior Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya said, addressing the NPA.

(We are asking them to put the country above their personal interests. Instead of helping, they are destroying the good acts of our government.) 

Odette is expected to hit land on Thursday, bringing strong winds and rain in the central Philippines in what would be the 15th typhoon, and one of the strongest, to hit the Southeast Asian archipelago this year. Thousands have been preemptively evacuated.

Parts of the Surigao provinces are under tropical cyclone wind signal no. 2 on Wednesday. 

— With a report from Reuters