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Militiaman killed in Army-NPA skirmish

A government militiaman was killed in a clash with the New People’s Army in Laak, Compostela Valley on Tuesday.

1Lt Amadeuz VJ Celestial, the Civil-Military Operations officer of 60th Infantry Battalion identified him as Cherwyn Paragoya who joined the troops when they clashed with an estimated 25 rebels believed to be under Guerrilla Front 33 in Barangay Ceboleda, Laak.

The firefight lasted for more than an hour with the Philippine Air Force (Tactical Operations Group XI) providing close air support.

A CAA for almost 10 years, Paragoya was tasked to help maintain the peace and order situation in his community.

Lt. Col. Gilbert Ombos, 60th IB commander, mourned the death of Paragoya.

“Hearing the stories of his peers, he was no doubt instrumental in keeping the peace in his community. It’s heartbreaking that we should lose valuable life for something as futile and worthless as this insurgency,” he said.

Mayor Antonio Libuangan of Laak and Gov. Jayvee Tyron Uy of Compostela Valley Province both committed to help Paragoya’s family.

Meanwhile, the 60th IB, together with the local disaster risk reduction and management offices of both Laak and the ComVal, is currently assisting the residents affected by the armed conflict.

Cong. Ruwel Peter Gonzaga also sent foodstuff and other items to augment the local governments’ efforts, especially for those displaced by the skirmishes.

“As we can see, the principal victim of the insurgency is the civilian populace, families are displaced, classes suspended, business establishments and some government offices cease operations. This is why we continue to call on all members of society to actively take part in ending the CPP-NPA’s terrorism,” Ombos said.

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