- Two soldiers are injured after alleged CPP-NPA rebels attack AFP convoy
- Army convoy allegedly carried relief goods for typhoon-devastated areas
- Firefight leads to momentary closure of Philippine Highway
CATBALOGAN, SAMAR – Two soldiers of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) were allegedly injured after suspected members of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New Peoples’ Army (CPP-NPA) launched a surprise attack on a convoy Army truck transporting troops from the 546th Engineering Battalion and the 8th Infantry Division Reconnaissance Company of the Philippine Army (PA).
An article by Rommel L. Rutor and Miriam Desacada of Philstar reports the convoy was composed of four trucks, two army trucks, an elf truck and a mini-dump truck. The trucks were allegedly carrying soldiers and relief goods for the typhoon-ravaged areas in Northern Samar.
Jennifer Allegado and Joey A. Gabrieta of Inquirer.net reports that at least 32 soldiers along with two Department of Social welfare and Development (DSWD) staff were on board the said trucks when the ambush took place.
The same report points out that at least ten purported members of the CPP-NPA fired upon the convoy at about 7:30am of December 18, 2015.
According to a report published on Interkasyon, the truck was traversing a sharp bend on the Maharlika Highway linking Barangays Pahug and Madalunot when they were suddenly fired upon by members of the CPP-NPA. There was no further reported casualty in the said assault other than the two wounded soldiers.
Even so, the incident led to a resulting exchange of gunfire between the attacking communist rebels and the members of the military and police who came as reinforcements. Because of the said firefight, part of the National Highway was closed briefly. The Philstar report indicates that the firefight lasted for an estimated period of 45 minutes.
The two injured soldiers were identified as Private First Class Rowell Talahota who was the driver of one of the trucks, and Private First Class Circado Cado. The two soldiers were not seriously wounded but were nevertheless brought to a hospital located in Tacloban City.