The 10th Infantry Division (ID) took offense at what it said were the “malicious and unfounded allegations” of the New People’s Army (NPA) that the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) deceived the President on the ambush of members of the Citizen Armed Force Geographical Unit (CAFGU) Active Auxiliary (CAA) in Kapalong, Davao del Norte on July 27.
The NPA had released a statement on Friday blaming the AFP for the incident, saying it staged the ambush in order to “thwart” an offensive the military and the paramilitary group were about to stage.
The 10th ID, however, said the NPA’s allegation that the CAAs “took off for combat operation from their detachment in Barangay Patil on July 26” was “completely false.”
“The ambush site is two to three days walk from the CAA patrol base in Sitio Patil, Barangay Gupitan, Kapalong, Davao del Norte and the ambush happened at about 6:45 in the morning of July 27,” the statement said.
On the allegation that the AFP twisted the facts by leaving out the information that the troops were on combat operations and not engaged in “civilian” activities, the 10th ID said nowhere in its press statement or Facebook post did it claim that the troops were doing “civilian” activities.
“In the 10ID’s Facebook page and press release, we said that the CAAs, who were already several days out of their camp on security patrol when the ceasefire was declared, were on their way back to their patrol base in compliance to the President’s declaration of ceasefire when ambushed by elements of the NPA,” the statement said.
Read the Facebook post here.
“The CAAs, while on security patrol were in Sitio Muling, Barangay Gupitan when the President declared the ceasefire during his SONA (State of the Nation Address) on the afternoon of July 25. They received the order to stop all offensive actions in the same afternoon. On July 26, the CAAs stood down and prepared for their movement back to their patrol base in Sitio Patil, which is two to three days walk away,” the 10th ID statement added.
The statement said the CAAs on their way back to their patrol base on July 27 and were crossing a river in Sitio Kamunoan, Barangay Gupitan at around 6:45 a.m. when they were ambushed by around 30 NPA members under Guerrilla Front 34.
The hour-long firefight that ensued resulted in the dead of CAA Panggong Komanod and the wounding of four others.
The 10th ID called on the NPA to “stop resorting to propaganda and instead truthfully show their sincerity in the efforts of President Rodrigo R. Duterte bring peace to the entire nation.”
“The 10ID and the whole AFP fully support President Rodrigo Duterte’s peace agenda. We call on all Filipinos, including the members of the CPP-NPA-NDF, to take this opportunity and support our President finally bring peace to our country,” it added.