DAET, CAMARINES NORTE (May 3, 2012) - Concerned sectors and the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) in this province have strongly condemned the rebel attack on soldiers and civilians during a Peace and Development dialogue with villagers at a barangay hall in Maot, Labo,Camarines Norte last Sunday (April 29).
CHR head for Camarines Norte, Lawyer Arlyn Ailanco, and local religious leaders condemned the indiscriminate firing by the rebels during an attack in the locality, resulting in the deaths of soldiers and a civilian and the wounding of several others.
Official source at the 49th Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army who conducted the barangay dialogue reported deaths of 4 army personnel, 1 civilian and 3 rebels. The rebels reportedly carried with them their dead comrades as they escaped.
Army 9th Infantry Division commander Major General Josue S. Gaversa Jr. commended the soldiers' bravery, saying “the four, who died stood their ground to the last bullet” as he directed Monday (April 30) the creation of a Board of Inquiry that shall look into possible lapses on the part of the soldiers.
Labo, Municipal police station head, Police Chief Inspector Eusebio Arturo Escoto Estopare, reported on Tuesday (May 1) that the rebels used massive firepower in their attack.
Estopare said that according to the SOCO report, investigators found at the crime scene about 300 empty shells of different caliber guns; 8 empty shells for 12- guage shotgun; 5 empty shells for M-203; 2 live-ammunition for M-203 (Grenade-launcher);6 Improvised explosive devices (IED); and 1 big (IED) placed in a bamboo.
According to the Police chief, the rebels started the attack at 12:00 noon on April 29 with about 60 rebels involved in the assault. The rebels took control of the barangay hall after a 45-minute firefight. (SONNY SALES)