Hundreds displaced in alleged NPA attack in Agusan del Norte
Hundreds of people were displaced after the members of New People’s Army (NPA) allegedly attacked a community in Agusan del Norte on Wednesday.
2Lt. Ashley Mae Del Rosario, civil military operations officer of the 401 st Infantry Brigade, said a total of 89 families or 357 persons were displaced after the rebel group reportedly attacked the community of Brgy. Hinimbangan, Kitcharao.
“The NPAs ruthlessly fired upon the community that has troops from 29th Infantry Battalion who are conducting development support and security operations also known as Bayanihan Team Activities (BTA) in the area,” she said.
“After three consecutive harassments by the NPA in the barangay, a total of 357 civilians were forced to evacuate because of the threat posed by the terror group,” she added.
Del Rosario said according to the residents, “NPAs forced the school faculty to cancel their classes and some (NPAs) have indiscriminately fired upon the houses in the community.”
She said Lt. Col. Glenn Joy Ayner, 29th Infantry Battalion commander, emphasized how there was a violation of the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect to Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL).
“Once again, the NPAs have violated the (CARHRIHL) which is the only document that was duly signed by the Government Rupublic of the Philippines (GRP) and National Democratic Front (NDF) when they indiscriminately attacked the said community that caused the eventual and force evacuation of the people,” he said.
“Our troops were there to help the LGU in identifying the needs of the community in order to alleviate their living condition. However, this terroristic attack of the NPAs sowed fear among the people in that community,” he added.
Ayner said the military and police will defend the community and vowed to “bring back peace and order in the area.”
Del Rosario noted that troops of 29IB coordinated with officials of Kitcharao to address the basic needs of displaced families.
“Likewise, they also distributed relief goods and food packs together with the Municipal Social Welfare Development,” she said. Robina Asido/DMS