DAVAO CITY — President Rodrigo Roa Duterte today, February 17 personally visited 14 soldiers who were wounded in a landmine explosion during a pursuit and clearing operations against armed rebel group, New People’s Army (NPA).

The explosion took place at Barangay Lamanan, Calinan District yesterday, February 16, where the soldiers were stationed as part of the Charlie and Alpha Companies and Scout Platoon of the 3rd Infantry Battalion.

The president spoke with the soldiers, who are presently confined at the Camp Panacan Station Hospital (CPSH) of the Naval Station Felix Apolinario in Panacan.

The wounded were identified as Cpl. Bel Jon D. Soratos; Cpl. Joe Mark O. Accad; Cpl. Allan R. Aguilar; Cpl. Abelardo Suela, Jr.; Cpl. Rey M. Danaytan; Pfc. Kevin Nuesca; Pfc. Paul John Aromin; Pfc. Dominic M. Alegado; Pfc. Marlon Soriano; Pfc. John L. Tecson; Pfc. Celso Oliveros Neri, Jr.; Pfc. Alvin S. Omagtang; Pvt. Noel M. Ramos and 2Lt. Harvey Kyl Escora.

During his hospital visit, Duterte awarded each soldier with the Wounded Personnel Medal, a recognition for putting their lives at risk for fighting the NPA. They were also given cash assistance and cellular phones.

Two soldiers were also killed during the said explosion, identified as Cpl. Michael Yadao and Pvt. Vilmel Damondon.

Reports say the encounter occurred when members of the NPA Pulang Bagani Command 1 under alias Jinggoy and Pulang Bagani Command 2 under alias Lando attacked military troops in the second and third districts of the city yesterday.

Around 5:30 A.M., the rebels attacked a military detachment in Malabog, Paquibato District, during which one NPA rebel was killed. Around noon time, the NPA also attacked civilian communities and burned down equipment at a pineapple plantation in Baguio District.

The Armed Forces of the Philippines believes the series of attacks perpetrated by the rebel group are retaliations for the death of their comrade in a recent encounter in the city’s Paquibato District.###PCO-Davao