By Priam F. Nepomuceno
MANILA, Oct. 21 (PNA) — Nine government troopers were killed in two separate ambush incidents staged by New People's Army (NPA) rebels in North Cotabato Monday morninbg.
Personnel of Golf Company, 38th Infantry Battalion under Captain Ernesto Aguilar, were on their way to Barangay Bacong, Tulunan to distribute the subsistence allowance of their militiamen when some 50 fully armed NPA rebels ambushed the troops in Sitio Manggi, Barangay Bituan, one of the declared peace zones in Tulunan, at about 9:10 a.m.
Eight were declared dead, while one was in critical condition and brought immediately to the Kidapawan Medical Specialist Hospital for treatment.
Police said that a certain Captain Aguilar was the lone survivor of the attack.
The NPA carted away seven firearms of the ambushed troops.
In a separate incident, troopers of the 57th Infantry Battalion led by 1st Lt. Bruno Jugo that were on their way to help the ambush troops were also waylaid by the insurgents in Purok 2, Barangay Luna Norte, Makilala town at about 11:25 a. m.
Initial reports said that four were wounded and one killed on the government side in that latest ambush.
Col. Marcos Flores, commander of the 1002nd Infantry Brigade, said The two incidents were very unfortunate for our personnel and their families. We extend our sincere condolences to the families of our troops who were killed in the ambush by the NPA this morning and we will extend any possible assistance to their families. We will pursue the perpetrators as we seek to give justice to their death, (PNA)