(UPDATED) One government soldier was killed while three others were wounded when troops of the 3rd Marine Battalion Landing Team (MBLT 3) on patrol were engaged in a brief firefight by a band of New People’s Army (NPA) rebels Monday afternoon in Sitio Ibangley, Barangay Abongan, Taytay.
Captain Orchie Bobis, spokesperson of the 3rd Marine Brigade (3MBde), said the firefight lasted only about 10 minutes before the rebels withdrew.
Bobis identified the Marines who was killed in action as Pfc. Cristian Priela Cuarto of Camarines Sur.
Those who were wounded were Cpl. Remuel Redondo, Pfc. Marlon Escobar Jr., and Cpl. Charlie Carorocan.
As of this writing, they are confined to a government health facility in Roxas for treatment.
The incident happened when they were conducting patrols on their way to Roxas.
“Nakikiramay ang 3rd Marine Brigade sa naulilang pamilya ni Pfc. Cuarto. Nawalan sila ng isang mabuti at responsableng anak na walang ibang inisip kundi ang maiahon ang pamilya sa kahirapan, inaalala ang nanay na Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) sa abroad, at nagnanais na maitaguyod ang pamilya na nagsisimulang umangat sa kahirapan,” Bobis said.
“Nawalan din kami ng masayahing kasamahan sa Marines na kapag nalulungkot ay idinadaan na lamang sa basketball ang problema niya. Yan ang taong pinatay ng NPA na pinamumunuan ni Ka Boywan dito sa Palawan, o mas kilalang si Salvador Luminoso, para lamang sa kanilang mababaw na propaganda,” she added.
The encounter happened a day after members of the NPA, believed to be the same group, fired upon a police vehicle passing through the same area carrying the police chief of Dumaran town and his driver.
On Sunday, an ambush was carried out by the NPA in the Ibangley area against Dumaran police personnel P/Cpl. Mark Russel Evangelista and its chief, P/Cpt. Erwin Carandang.
Both survived the ambush, but their police vehicle was riddled with around 24 bullet holes and shrapnel hits.
The Bienvenido Vallever Command (BVC) said in a text message that they ambushed the government soldiers as a punitive measure.
“Inaako ng BVC Palawan ang ambush laban sa mga Marines sa Taytay ngayong hapon. Bahagi ito ng aming tuloy-tuloy na pamamarusa sa mga ahente ng estado na malaon ng sumasalaula sa karapatan ng mga Palawenyo,” the BVC said in a statement.
(With reports from Celeste Anna Formoso)