ILOILO – A pickup ferrying private company employees and Philippine Army soldiers was ambushed on Wednesday in Barangay Igcabugao, Igbaras, Iloilo.
The military identified the attackers as members of the New People’s Army (NPA).
One of the employees of Century Peak Energy Corp., a hydropower plant builder in the town, was injured.
Sheila Mae Esteves sustained a gunshot wound on the right leg, the Igbaras police officer-in-charge Chief Inspector Rogelio Tumagtang told Panay News.
Esteves and another employee of Century Peak Energy Corp. were on their way to a “clearing operation” at around 3 p.m. when their company vehicle, a Mitsubishi Strada, was “ambushed,” Tumagtang said.
The Army’s 301st Infantry Brigade, in a press release, placed the time of the attack at around 3:30 p.m.
Century Peak was trying to clear an area leading to its project site that was hit by landslide, Tumagtang said.
Others on board the vehicle were two Philippine Army soldiers and eight Citizen Armed Force Geographical Unit (CAFGU) personnel escorting the Century Peak employees. They were unharmed, he added.
The Army said there were four other Century Peak employees on board. They were unharmed, too.
Soldiers in the vicinity at the time responded and fought “more or less 10” members of the NPA’s Komiteng Rehiyon Panay – Southern Front in a 10-minute firefight, the 301st IB said.
No one from the government troops was injured. The military said they have yet to determine any injury on the side of the NPA, who they said withdrew toward a forested area of the barangay.
Tumagtang said the Army and CAFGU personnel on board the vehicle fought back, too.
Esteves, a 28-year-old safety officer of Century Peak, was taken to the Guimbal District Hospital.
The Philippine Army is going after the attackers, the 301st IB said./PN