House Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo visited the soldiers who were hurt during an encounter at the Eastern Visayas Regional Medical Center Saturday afternoon. Photo shows the former President talking with PFC Darwin Magoncia. She was joined by former Leyte congressman Martin Romualdez.

TACLOBAN CITY- House Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo visited six soldiers who were wounded during an ambush at Eastern Visayas Regional Medical Center (EVRMC) Saturday (April 27) afternoon where they are confined.
During her brief visit, the former President comforted the soldiers as she hope for their speedy recovery from the wounds they sustained after they engaged in a firefight with the rebel New People’s Army(NPA) in Barangay Beri Calbiga town in Samar province last April 23.
Six soldiers, who belong to the 46th Infantry Battalion, were also killed during the ambush, the worst suffered by the government troops in years at the hands of the rebels.
“We honor the bravery… of our brave soldiers and we hope that they will recover soon. But more than that, we hope that lasting peace will come to the Philippines,” Arroyo said during an interview after she visited the soldiers.
The soldiers, Private First Class Darwin Magoncia, Private First Class Joseph Salonga, Sergeant Gilbert Benito, Jr. and Private Rex Español, also received a cash assistance from the former President.
The House Speaker, who arrived at the EVRMC located in Barangay Cabalawan, this city, 4:40 pm and left on 5:10 pm, was joined by former Leyte Rep. Ferdinand Martin Romualdez and Leyte Rep. Henry Ong and was welcomed by the hospital’s chief, Dr. Salvador Evardone.
Private Español, 25 and just in the service for over a year, said that she was surprised on the visit of Arroyo to them.
“I am happy and thankful for her visit to us,” he said.
Two of their companions, Private First Class Mark Kevin Frigillana and Corporal Reymart Vigilia were earlier discharged from the hospital
Meantime, Arroyo said that she supports on the decision of President Rodrigo Duterte to resume again the peace talks with the communist leaders, led by its founder, Jose Ma. Sison.
“I agree with what he decides,” she said.
Mr. Duterte has once again invited Sison to resume the peace talks with the Philippines government after he decided earlier to scrap the agreement citing the ambuscade incidents involving soldiers and police with the rebels despite of the peace talks.