Doctor, nurse hurt in Ifugao NPA-AFP clash

>> Saturday, February 25, 2017

ASIPULO, Ifugao – Government troopers are still pursuing New People’s Army guerillas here they had an encounter with last week, saying a physician and a nurse were among those wounded in the clash in remote Barangay Namal here where an alleged rebel encampment was overran.
Identification cards left behind by wounded and fleeing rebels after the Feb. 12 encounter in Barangay Namal, Aspulo night of Feb. 12 named physician Ana Marie Leung and nurse Isabelle Anne Ramos as among those hurt during the 1-hour gunfight that started 6 p.m.
Lt. Col. Nicolas Quemado, commander of the 54th Infantry Battalion said they found Leung’s Professional Regulation Commission ID card and two automated teller machine cards, including Ramos’s postal identification card at the rebel camp.
Leung was believed to be one of those wounded in the Feb. 12 firefight after a villager reportedly identified her as one of those brought by retreating rebels, the military official said.
Government troops also believed that the troops at Namal are top cadres of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People's Army. 
“What we fought are the heads of the Ifugao NPA command,” said Quemado.
Quemado made an appeal and said: "We are open to help their comrades, knowing that the victim is a female and a physician. We need to set aside our differences and help each other to save lives. After all, we are all Filipinos.”
He urged families of Leung and Ramos to communicate with them to claim identification and ATM cards of their relatives.
According to the 54th IB, pursuit operations against the fleeing rebels are still ongoing.
Quemado said that they are now coordinating with the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLAC) for the possible freezing of the bank accounts believed being used by the CPP-NPA Ifugao.
The Philippine Army’s 54th Infantry Battalion said a soldier, whose name was withheld, was slightly wounded in the left knee during the gunfight with rebels at Sitio Timmapaya, Barangay Namalon Feb. 11.
When the gun smoke cleared after the firefight, soldiers reportedly found camp of the Nona del Rosario Command of the Ilocos-Cordillera Regional Committee at Sitio Pinugao, Namal.
The NPA guerillas were reportedly under Nona del Rosario Command of the Ilocos-Cordillera Regional Committee.
Government forces said there were more NPA casualties due to scattered blood stains in the encounter site but taken away by their comrades who managed to hide due to nightfall.
Quemado said fleeing rebels with their wounded comrades fled towards Mt. Capan located at the Barangay.
Soldiers also seized a caliber Cal 5.56mm M16 assault rifle, including three laptop units, a printer, a Honda 1000w power generator, six long magazines for AK-47 assault rifle, two long magazine for M16 rifle, two rifle grenades, a roll of undetermined length of detonating cord, several pieces of blasting caps, assorted medical and food supplies and other personal belongings.

Government forces said the rebels were caught unaware when the soldiers, who were tipped by civilians of their presence, approached the rebel encampment.  


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