Armed men believed to be members of the New People’s Army ambushed a military vehicle along a national highway in the City of Mati Sunday morning, May 30.
Initial report showed that the military’s KM450 vehicle was traversing the national highway around 8:40 in the morning when they were ambushed by about five NPA rebels positioned on top of the hill of Sitio Tagawisan, Barangay Badas.
The rebels allegedly belong to WGF 18, SMRC while those ambushed were a squad from Alpha Company of the 66th Infantry Battalion led by Corporal Acieveda.
The military personnel came from Brgy. Taguibo and were heading towards Banaybanay town when ambushed.
The firefight lasted for ten minutes before the rebels withdrew. One Private Melendrez was hit at the back and was immediately rushed to the hospital for treatment.
A team from the City of Mati LGU’s City Information Office tagged along with the pursuing police and military personnel at the top of the hill where the NPA rebels positioned.
Footsteps from the rebels’ vantage point going towards the innermost area of the hill could be seen. Authorities also discovered a cleared area in the hill that could have been the rebels’ temporary camp prior to the ambush incident.
The rebels are believed to have withdrawn towards Barangay Culian.
Unconfirmed reports say that the NPA rebels could be preparing for the rescue of one of their high-ranking leaders who was recently captured in North Cotabato. The said NPA leader was said to be responsible for the 2015 attack in Mati Police station.
City of Mati Mayor Michelle Nakpil Rabat meanwhile condemned the latest atrocity by the lawless armed group.
“Today’s incident along the national highway in Sitio Tagawisan, Barangay Badas is unfortunate and we condemn such atrocious act by lawless armed group. For almost two hours, traffic was halted along the main thoroughfare which serves as the only road for our farmers to bring their products to our markets. For two hours, many livelihood were affected. This brings to light the fact that armed struggle is not the way to bring peace and development to our city, to our people,” Rabat said in a released statement Sunday.
“I want to assure all Matinians that the City of Mati LGU is doing its best to counter the possible adverse effects this incident may bring to our city’s economy. Rest assured that the police and the military, with the support of the local government, are doing their best to prevent similar incident from happening again.We appeal to the public to remain calm and vigilant. Daghang salamat ug amping kamong tanan,” the mayor added.
Traffic along the national highway was halted for almost two hours affecting hundreds of travelers and traders. It resumed around 10:25 Sunday morning.