Philippines condemns NPA attack on soldiers helping 'Urduja' victims

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 18 2017 01:00 PM | Updated as of Dec 19 2017 12:16 AM

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A disaster official denounced Monday an attack by New People’s Army rebels against soldiers providing relief to the victims of deadly tropical depression "Urduja."

Two soldiers were wounded when about 50 NPA fighters opened fire at then in Catubig, Northern Samar Sunday. The attack and ensuing firefight sent typhoon-affected residents into panic, the military said

"Nakakalungkot na mayroon tayong mga kababayan na naisip pang tambangan ang mga kasundaluhan natin na naroon naman para magbigay ng tulong sa mga nasalanta ng bagyo," Romina Marasigan, spokesperson of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, told reporters.
 
(It is disheartening that some of our fellow Filipinos ambushed soldiers who were there to help the victims of the typhoon.)

"Sabi nila ipinaglalaban nila ang welfare ng ating mga kababayan. Kung talaga ipinaglalaban ninyo ang welfare at kalagayan ng ating mamamayang Pilipino, tigilan niyo na po ang pananambang sa ating mga sundalong Pilipino rin at tumutulong sa kapwa natin Pilipino," she added.

(They said they are fighting for the welfare of our fellow countrymen. If that is true, stop ambushing our soldiers, who are Filipinos too and helping their fellow Filipino.)

Urduja inundated large swaths of Visayas over the weekend, killing 26 people and sending 44,369 families to evacuation centers.

The NDRRMC remains on red alert as it prepares to give relief to affected residents and monitors another incoming weather system, Marasigan said.

President Rodrigo Duterte earlier declared the NPA and its political wing, the Communist Party of the Philippines, as terrorist organizations, whose "violent acts... sow and create a condition of widespread and extraordinary fear and panic among the populace."

The government will not declare a truce with the NPA for Christmas, Malacañang reiterated Sunday.

ANC, 18 December 2017