MANILA — On May 30, 2013 at 6 a.m., soldiers from the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ 41st IB chanced upon a unit of the New Peoples’ Army (NPA) and fired at the NPA sentry. A firefight reportedly followed, with the NPA guerrillas retreating as the soldiers had the initial advantage. Four hours later, the said NPA unit and soldiers of the AFP again clashed. This time, the NPA reportedly gained advantage after mounting an ambush on the pursuing soldiers of the 41st IB.
The two incidents left three (3) soldiers killed and an undetermined number wounded. In a statement, the NPA said their guerrillas retreated safely. The 2 firefights took place at Mabolo, Gacab, Malibcong, Abra.
After the firefight, the AFP has reportedly begun a pursuit operation, in the process bombing several areas in the town of Malibcong. At 2 p.m. on May 30, it dropped bombs in Gacab and Duldulao. At 7 a.m. on May 31, helicopters reportedly bombed farmlands in Paoay, Umnap, Bangilo. Two hours later in the same day, a bomb also exploded at farmlands in Barangay Lat-ey, 150 meters away from the community Micro-Hydro Power Plant, and only 40 meters away from 2 teenage girls who reportedly suffered war shock because of the incident. Diego Wadagan, spokesman of the NPA in Abra, said in a statement emailed to Bulatlat.com that a bomb was also dropped in nearby Sitio Alligang of Lat-ey village in Bangilo, Abra, but it failed to explode.
Wadagan warned that with the people’s full support, they will frustrate the current AFP offensive in North Abra. They charged that the purpose behind the “clearing operations” of the Armed Forces’s 503rd Brigade in North Abra is “to ensure easier entry of large-scale mining companies.”