SANTA CRUZ, Ilocos Sur –Troops of 81st Infantry (SPARTAN) Battalion were fired upon by NPAs in Patiacan, Quirino, Ilocos Sur at about 02:45 PM of October 15, 2017, Sunday.
Troops while conducting bayanihan activities together with civilian populace in Patiacan Elementary School was fired upon by MOL two (2) NPAs believed to be members of KLG Montes.
Upon realizing the community was being attacked, the Spartan Troopers immediately secured the teachers and students who were with them beautifying and fixing the school premises. While soldiers made their body as human shield to these civilians, it resulted to two (2) wounded soldiers whose names are still withheld prior to the notification of their next of kin.
Community Support Program Team of the 81st Infantry (SPARTAN) Battalion was deployed in Brgy. Patiacan, Quirino, Ilocos Sur to conduct bayanihan activities and provide basic needs through the support of the LGU that will aid the residents in the socio-economic aspects of the said community. Said troops were also securing the community against NPA atrocities.
Exhausted from the repeated extortions conducted by NPA rebels in the area, community provided warm reception and cooperation to the Spartan troopers. For two (2) months now, no NPA atrocities were reported as the CSP teams were blocking these NPAs to get close to the community. This was the main reason why they fired upon in order to force the troops to vacate the barangay.
MGen Felimon T Santos Jr AFP, Commander of 7th Infantry Division, condemned the harassment made by KLG Montes-the NPAs operating in the tri-boundary of Mt. Province, Ilocos Sur, and Abra. He also said that their actions shall be dealt with accordingly.
“It was very evil, these NPA rebels fired upon the troops even there were civilians around. Rest assured, that your Army will not falter and will still continue its mission in providing basic needs and in protecting Brgy Patiacan against NPA atrocities.”, said by Col Henry A. Robinson Jr. (MNSA) PA, 702nd Brigade Commander.
Lt Col Eugenio Julio C Osias IV INF (GSC) PA, Battalion Commander of 81st Infantry Battalion said, “We believed that these NPA rebels were deprived of their financial resources since they can’t execute extortion to the community because of the CSP deployment. We will make these NPAs answerable to the injustice done.”
He also said that “Your Army is ready to conduct necessary actions in response to what they have done. I am also appealing to the community to be with us in this fight, it is not just us, the Army, that will solve this insurgency, but all of us.”
Relentless pursuit operation is still on going.