Philippines: Communist rebels ambush aid convoy

Alleged attack comes two days after NPA - communist party's armed wing - declared unilateral ceasefire

Philippines: Communist rebels ambush aid convoy

World Bulletin / News Desk

The Philippines military has condemned what it described as an unprovoked attack by communist rebels Friday morning on military trucks carrying relief for typhoon Melor victims.

The alleged attack, which comes two days after the Philippines' communist party's armed wing declared a unilateral ceasefire, occurred in one of the country's hardest hit provinces and left two soldiers wounded.

"The AFP [Armed Forces of the Philippines] strongly condemns the ambush done by the NPA [The New People's Army] against army troops... that transpired in Pinabacdao, Samar," spokesperson Col. Restituto Padilla said in a statement.

Padilla said that the soldiers were heading for Tacloban City to gather more relief goods for typhoon Melor victims when they came under attack from an undetermined number of NPA guerrillas.

Typhoon Melor exited the Philippines on Thursday with a National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council final report saying 17 people had died and more than 100,000 homes were destroyed.

Damage to infrastructure and agriculture has been estimated at more than 935 million pesos ($19.71 million) as up to 300 mm (12 inches) of rain inundated rice paddies and strong winds uprooted trees.

The NPA had declared a unilateral ceasefire from Dec. 23 to Jan. 3.

Since March 1969, it has been waging one of Asia’s longest running insurgencies, mainly in the poorest regions of the Philippines.

According to government figures, the conflict has claimed around 40,000 lives, including more than 3,000 in the last eight years alone.

Philippine authorities have tagged the rebels as notorious extortionists and blamed them for harassing banana, pineapple and rubber plantations, as well as poultry farms and mining outfits.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 18 Aralık 2015, 15:05