by Cpt. Emmanuel R. Garcian
Camp Apolinario, Panacan, Davao City (12 May) — Five persons including a civilian pollwatcher were killed and another 12 individuals were wounded when a group of Board of Election Inspectors (BEI), Pollwatchers and soldiers were ambushed by New People’s Army (NPA) in the village of Mahayahay in Maragusan town in Compostela Valley (ComVal) province 8:50 AM Tuesday.
The Group of BEIs, polwatchers and soldiers were on their way to the municipal canvassing area when they were fired upon by NPAs belonging to Local Terrorist Front-27 resulting to the carnage.
The dead civilian was identified as Mercedita Negro a pollwatcher of Mayor Cesar Colina of Maragusan who is seeking re-election. The four government troops killed were Sgt. Jose Osman, Pfc. Macrell Bakil, Cafgu Leonelo Maglangit and Cafgu Teodoro Camingawan.
Another three civilians were also wounded in the incident identified as Darwin Obello, a pollwatcher of mayoralty candidate Arsenio Yanong; Milagros Restauro and Lita Tablingun both pollwatchers of Mayor Colina.
The nine wounded soldiers were Staff Sgt. Remy Inoslay, Sgt. William Erot, Pfc. Nasser Ukoman, Pfc. Romeo Felix, Pfc. Jhonrie Toytoy, Pfc. John de Vera, Pfc. Rey Toledo, Pfc. Barahama Maadil and Pvt. Datu Ali Akmad.
Maj. Gen. Carlos Holganza, commander of the Army’s 10th Infantry Division deplored the CPP-NPA-NDF for the attack as he appealed for human rights groups to take the cudgel in favor of the victims.
“They (NPA) did not respect the civilians. This is a gross violation of human rights. We call on the Commission on Human rights and all human rights advocate to include the self proclaimed human rights group Karapatan to conduct an investigation and condemn this inhuman act of the CPP-NPA-NDF. We pray that justice will prevail in favor of the unfortunate victims and that the perpetrators be held accountable for their atrocities against the Filipino people,” Holganza said.
Soldiers and civilians in Southern Mindanao particularly the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting forged a partnership to safeguard the votes and make the election successful. Soldiers were detailed to secure poll areas, materials and election officials against would be saboteurs.
“Southern Mindanao recorded the most peaceful conduct of election until the NPA’s attack.” Holganza concluded.
Last Friday, barely two days before the election, army troops foiled an attempt of the NPA to sabotage the coming election in a remote village in Mati City in Davao Oriental Province.
Soldiers were able to defend PCOS machines being transported from Mati City to the village of Taguibo which were targeted by NPA terrorists. One soldier was killed and two others were wounded in the incident.
On the eve of the election, soldiers recovered an Improvised Explosive Devise planted by NPAs on a bridge in the village of Maligaya in Columbio town in Sultan Kudarat province. (PA Public Affairs Office) [top]