PIA Press Release
Wednesday, January 25, 2012
Army clears Lapinig town, beefs up securityCATBALOGAN CITY, Samar, Jan 21 (PIA) --The Bravo Company of the 34th Infantry Battalion led by Lt. Eduardo Mendoza cleared Lapinig town and re enforced security for its civilians.
According to a report by Captain Ramil Palisoc of the 34th Infantry Battalion, on January 20, civilians witnessed the atrocities of a group of the New People’s Army numbering about 60 when they commandeered a truck, threatened civilians, divested them of cell phones and other valuables and attempted to kill Mayor Romualdo Menzon of Lapinig town.
The group of NPAs allegedly led by one Renato Ribay alyas Bata/Manoy/Rinay and alyas Demet also disarmed PO3 Rowena Opena and manhandled her just outside her residence after shooting one Romeo Senobio-neighbor of the target mayor.
Their luck though immediately ran out as one security detail-Aurelio Jullata of the mayor immediately repulsed them by firing on them as the neared the mayor’s house.
Enraged, the NPAs ganged up on the brave security, left him for dead and insisted to enter the premises but were repulsed even more by the number of security details who positioned themselves in advantage points –so that getting near the target seems suicide.
The NPAs focused their attention to the police who were also ready to fight, as the firefight raged on, with the Lapining Municipal Police ‘holding the line’ the NPAs tried to withdrew towards Barangay Imelda bringing along their wounded comrades.
Army elements led by Lt Bautista on orders of LCol William Penafiel immediately conducted a hot pursuit operation and cleared the municipality of Lapinig and removed the dangerous landmines earlier planted by the rebels.
The army elements feel that the attack on the innocent civilians of Lapinig came just as when the government troops are genuinely pushing to promote the AFP’s Internal Peace and Security Plan (IPSP) “Bayanihan” designed to encourage peace and development to far flung and depressed communities.
The attack though has fomented the zeal of the troops to pursue peace and development and beef up security operations in the whole Samar island.(PIA 8-Samar)