Soldier killed, 5 others hurt
- Jennifer P. Rendon () - August 30, 2011 - 12:00am

TAPAZ, CAPIZ ,Philippines  — The Philippine Army's 301st Infantry Brigade confirmed one dead and five wounded soldiers following an armed encounter yesterday morning at Brgy. Switch in this town, not in Brgy. Duran of Dumalag town, as earlier reported.

Brigadier Gen. Caesar Ronnie Ordoyo, commander of the 31st IBde, opted to withhold temporarily the identity of the fatality while they have yet to inform his immediately family.

Ordoyo only said that the killed soldier was the driver of the KM450 troop carrier, which was ambushed by around 10 suspected members of the New People's Army.

One of the wounded soldiers was Lt. Joselito Dalida, company commander of the 61st Infantry Battalion's Bravo Company. He only incurred minor shrapnel injuries. All the wounded personnel are now treated at an undisclosed hospital.

Ordoyo said the seven soldiers were on their way to Roxas City when the incident happened. The area could not be considered hinterland since there were several residents living near the encounter site.

Ordoyo said initial reports pointed to the possibility that the soldiers were first thrown with a hand grenade. An exchange of fire then ensued between the two groups. But just the same, Ordoyo did not discount the possibility that there could be a landmine blast.

The military hierarchy was also exploring the possibility that there could be fatalities on the enemy side because the soldiers managed to retaliate.

As this developed, Ordoyo said they conducted a manhunt operation against the terrorists responsible for the attack.

"We expected that they would retaliate because of the previous encounters that happened between the 61st IB and the NPA. But due to the vastness of the area they covered, we could not really predict when and where," he said.

The previous encounters have crippled some operations of the NPA and caused a big blow to the movement. Following the encounter, Ordoyo said they would strengthen their patrol in Tapaz and its neighboring towns.

Meanwhile, shortly after the encounter, several soldiers were also wounded after the military truck they were riding rammed a tree in Sitio Ambulong, Barangay Malitbog, also of this town.

Two of the wounded soldiers were identified as Corporal Daal, the truck driver, and a certain Private First Class Plano. They were supposed to respond to the encounter when they met the accident.

According to witness Vilma Villa, she saw when the truck lost control, sideswept a parked motorcycle and the gate of her house before it crashed into the tree.

BARANGAY MALITBOG BRAVO COMPANY BRGY BRIGADIER GEN CAESAR RONNIE ORDOYO CORPORAL DAAL DURAN OF DUMALAG INFANTRY BATTALION INFANTRY BRIGADE JOSELITO DALIDA ORDOYO
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