AFP to redeploy troops to Guihulngan after NPA ambush

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MANILA, Philippines  – The Armed Forces of the Philippines will redeploy its troops to Guihulngan town in Negros Oriental following the bloody ambush that resulted in the death of 7 people including 6 police officers more than a week ago.

The redeployment was announced by Central Command (CentCom) commander, Maj. Gen. Oscar Lactao, who said it will happen in a few days.

The 11th Infantry Battalion (11ID) of the Philippine Army, which was previously based in Guihulngan, was pulled out several weeks ago and was re-assigned in Marawi City after the terrorist Maute Group launched an attack in May.

Lactao said he believes the ambush by members of the New People’s Army (NPA) last July 21 was a retaliatory act by the communist rebels to their losses in previous encounters with government troops in San Carlos City.

Killed in the ambush were Guihulngan police chief Police Supt. Arnel Arpon, SPO2 Mecasio Tabilon, SPO2 Chavic Agosto, SPO1 Jesael Ancheta, Police Officer PO2 Alvin Paul Bulandres, PO2 Alfredo Dungue and a civilian named Michael Hambalut.

During President Rodrigo Duterte’s visit to the wake of the fallen officers, he ordered the military to intensify its counter-insurgency operation in Negros Island after the string of attacks by NPA against government troops in different parts of the country.

The disappointed President has also ordered the temporary suspension of peace talks between the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and the Philippine government panel, engaging CPP founding chairman Jose Maria Sison in a heated word war over the sincerity of the rebel groups.