ARAKAN, Cotabato – A civilian was hit as members of the New Peoples Army ambushed a rescue vehicle of MDRRMO of Arakan en route to evacuate two (2) wounded soldiers at Sitio Tiwayan, Badiangon this town at around 8:45 a.m. on Tuesday, April 23, 2019.

The unit identified the wounded civilian as Jonel Bayaan, a resident of Sitio Lake Sagan, Barangay Meocan also of the same town.

Bayaan who sustained a gunshot wound in his right thigh and arm was one of the civilians near the ambush site who fearfully fled the area at the start of the firefight which lasted for about 25 minutes.

Further disclosed that the NPA rebels who waylaid the vehicle belong to Guerrilla Front 53 led by Alias Joel, a notorious leader whom the 19th Infantry Battalion encountered earlier that day.

Their total disregard of the safety of the civilians reveals the true identity and objectives of the NPA as a terrorist organization.

Meanwhile, the 19th Infantry Battalion has already coordinated with local authorities of Arakan and the adjacent town of Antipas to assist the evacuees who were traumatized due to the said incident.

As of this writing, the LGUs have already distributed relief goods to the evacuees.

Let us bear in mind that violence endangers the lives of our family and loved ones. With that, we must work to keep our society violence free for the benefit of our future generations, Colonel Gabriel C Viray III, Commander of 901st Brigade said.

He added that the government forces will continue to conduct pursuit operations against the remaining CPP-NPA terrorists in response to the information divulged by the community near the ambush site.