(UPDATED) A marine patrol belonging to the 24th Marine Company (24MC) of Marine Battalion Landing Team 4 (MBLT4) conducting an operation against illegal loggers was ambushed by a group of armed men believed to be New People’s Army (NPA) rebels on Sunday morning in Barangay Calasaguen, Brooke’s Point.
A statement released by the Western Command (WESCOM) said a soldier was wounded during the armed encounter around 11:10 a.m. that lasted for about 10 minutes before the insurgents withdrew.
In an initial report from the Police Regional Office (PRO) in MIMAROPA, the Marine was identified as SSgt. Samuel Mofar.
The military said there were five armed men involved in the attack and that the government soldiers were able to inflict an “undetermined” number of casualties on the NPA side.
The wounded Marine was reported to be in stable condition.
The WESCOM said the marine patrol was requested by the municipal government of Brooke’s Point as a response to reports of illegal logging in the area.
“It was unfortunate, however, that the suspected NPA rebels disrupted the enforcement of environmental laws by government authorities,” the statement said.