NPA claims 5 soldiers slain in Quezon ambush, police denies encounter

From the Philippine Daily Inquirer (Nov 9, 2019): NPA claims 5 soldiers slain in Quezon ambush, police denies encounter

LUCENA CITY, Philippines – The spokesperson for the communist New People’s Army (NPA) units operating in the province of Quezon has claimed that five Army soldiers were killed on Friday in an alleged encounter with NPA fighters in General Nakar town.

According to Eliza “Ka Eli” De la Guerra, spokesperson of the NPA Apolonio Mendoza Command, communist guerillas ambushed against an estimated 50 Army soldiers and police officers in Barangay (village) Lumutan at around 12:40 p.m.

In a statement, De la Guerra said the clash lasted until 1:11 p.m. and allegedly left five soldiers killed and one seriously wounded. There were no NPA fighters killed or hurt in the encounter, De la Guerra.

However, the chief of police of General Nakar town, denied the NPA claim.

“There was no encounter here or we were not aware of that supposed incident,” Lt. Christopher Paloyo, General Nakar police chief, said in a phone interview Saturday morning.

The Inquirer sent copies of the NPA statement to Lt. Colonel Dennis Cana, spokesman of the military’s Southern Luzon Command and Lt. Kaye Ducusin, acting head of the public affairs office of the Army’s 2nd Infantry Division. Both of them have yet to send their replies.

De La Guerra said the encounter meant to show the NPA’s opposition against the Kaliwa dam project.

On Thursday, De la Guerra declared that the NPA will stage relentless attacks to stop the construction of the P18.7-billion dam project in the Sierra Madre mountain range in northern Quezon and Rizal provinces.

De la Guerra added that Red fighters are ready to engage military and police forces who will be sent to the area to secure the dam’s construction. 

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