CAMP GENERAL VICENTE LUKBAN, CATBALOGAN CITY – Troops of 43rd Infantry Battalion, 8ID, led by 1Lt. Edsel Ryan B. Celebre engaged NPA(New People’s Army) rebels under their leader Salvador Nordan alias “Badok” while conducting combat operations against lawless elements at Sitio Cabaywa, Brgy. Santander, Bobon, Northern Samar on February 14, 2017.
The fire fight lasted for about five minutes that resulted to the death of the wife of the NPA leader identified as Bernadette Lutao alias “Kakan” and the recovery of one improvised explosive device (IED) and three cellular phones.
The use of IED is restricted under the United Nations Geneva Convention because of its indiscriminate effects and humanitarian harm it can cause to innocent civilians as well as a violation of the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines and the CPP-NPA-NDF (Communist Party of the Philippines- National Democratic Front)
In a statement, Maj. General Raul M. Farnacio, commanding officer of the 8th ID, said that the NPAs have been using IEDs as their weapons of choice without consideration on the welfare of the civilian populace.
“The NPA has been deliberately violating the human rights with their production and employment of IEDs and their continuous disruption of the peaceful lives of our fellow Filipinos especially those in the far-flung barangays,” he stated.
“This accomplishment is a triumph for the collective effort of the local government unit and agencies, 8ID, and our civilian constituents to attain just and lasting peace in Northern Samar. Filipinos want peace and it is high time for our fellow Filipinos who were misled to join the NPA to lay down their arms and lead their lives away from armed struggle,” Farnacio urged.
Since the lifting of the ceasefire by President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, 8ID troops have been conducting security operations in the region as part of their mandate.
“Rest assured that your Army in Eastern Visayas are tirelessly committed to serve and secure the people within the bounds of respect of Human Rights, International Humanitarian Law, and Rule of Law,” Farnacio added. (PR)