In retaliation to the killing of eight of their comrades on Thursday, New People’s Army (NPA) rebels yesterday fired at participants of a Bicol University fun run in Sorsogon province, wounding a female student.
Reports reaching Camp Crame showed that undetermined number of armed men fired at participants of the fun run being secured by elements of the Gubat Municipal Police Station at around 7:40 a.m. along Barangay Buenavista in Gubat town.
“Unidentified armed men fired at the participants, hitting one female student. The victim was brought to the Sorsogon Medical Mission Group Hospital for treatment,” reports said.
The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), however, tagged the NPA as responsible in the shooting incident.
Lt. Col. Ramon Zagala, AFP-Public Affairs Office chief, expressed belief that the attack was in retaliation to the Thursday killing of eight NPA members, including ranking leaders in Bicol, during a military assault in Juban town, also in Sorsogon.
On Saturday, elements of the Army’s 31st Infantry Battalion (IB) launched a follow-up operation in Barangay Gabao in nearby Irosin town, killing another NPA rebel.
“The harassment in Barangay Buenavista which was seen as retaliation to a recent setback incurred by the NPAs wounded a 17 year-old female student whose feet were shot during the rebels’ attack,” Zagala said.
Among those killed last Thursday were Arnel Estiller alias “Ka Ariston,” secretary of Larangan 2 of the Komiteng Probinsya in Sorsogon province; NPA-Bicol spokesman Greg Banares; Christine Puche, who uses the aliases Abby and Nel and a graduate of the University of the Philippines, and Ted Palacio, alias Gary, a professor at the Ateneo de Naga University.
Col. Joselito Kakilala, Army 903rd Brigade commander, said that elements of the 31st IB are still pursuing the remnants of the 20-man rebel band encountered last Thursday.