PCOS Military Escort Hits Landmine in Masbate

Ambush on army PA troops is fifth try by suspected communists
Monday, May 10th, 2010

LEGAZPI CITY, May 06  --- A military convoy assigned to escort Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) machine on Thursday hit an improvised landmine planted by suspected communist guerrillas at a road network in Cataingan town in Masbate, police authorities said.

Supt. Eliciar Bron, Philippine National Police (PNP) Bicol spokesman, said Army troopers on board a military vehicle escaped the bomb attack unhurt.

Bron said the incident happened at around 10:35 a.m. Thursday at Sitio Busay, Barangay Pawikan in Cataingan town in Masbate.

He said Army soldiers of the 85th Infantry battalion on board a Simba Armored Personnel Carrier (APC) while passing through the provincial road of the said village was hit by an improvised explosive device (IED) detonated by New People's Army (NPA) rebels.

Bron said no one was hurt but the windshield of the B150 was slightly damaged.

Bron said responding members of the Special Task Force Masbate recovered from the scene a 150-meter detonating cord used by the rebels.

Army Maj. Harold Cabunoc, 9th Infantry Division (ID) spokesman, said a 12-man Army soldiers led by Maj. Estevyn Ducusin and Maj. Michael Licyayo were heading towards Masbate to escort the PCOS machines when a roadside bomb went off.

Cabunoc said it was the fifth ambush attempt using IED on state forces by communist rebels.

He said last Monday, the military truck carrying Army Col. Lope Dagoy, commander of UN peacekeeping troops presently assigned in Masbate, while negotiating a road in a remote village in Palanas town was attacked by communist rebels by using improvised landmines; no casualties were reported from the Army soldiers. (PNA)