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Gov.Lala’s statement on Tulunan ambush

MEDIA STATEMENT ON THE TULUNAN AMBUSH OF AFP SOLDIERS BY SUSPECTED NPA MEMBERS

21 October 2013

Together with most peace loving Cotabateños, I condemn in the strongest sense the reported ambush, and with the use of landmines, of a team of soldiers of the 38th Infantry Battalion, 6 Infantry Division, Philippine Army (PA), lead by a certain Capt. Aguilar staged by approximately 40 armed men suspected to be members of the New Peoples’ Army (NPA), Front 72, FSMRC at around 9:30 o’clock this morning at the overflow area of Brgy. Caridad, Tulunan, North Cotabato.

Initial reports confirmed that the team of Capt. Aguilar was on board a KM-450 military transport vehicle when they were ambushed by the suspected NPA members using landmines, among others, with undetermined number of soldiers died on the spot. The perpetrators are now being pursued by elements of the 57th Infantry Battalion, 10th Infantry Division and the 602nd Brigade, 6th Infantry Division of the Philippine Army.

This act of atrocity has no place in a civilized society, more so with the use of landmine which has long been prohibited under international covenants.

The Provincial Government of Cotabato under its present administration has not failed in its peace initiatives and has long geared its efforts to achieve a lasting peace for the people of the province.

We have continuously assured our constituents of our readiness to comfort and help them cope with the challenges of disturbances of our fragile peace and order situation as we have in fact made good on these commitment.

However, we could only do so much. Our initiatives and efforts to find a solution for peace could not have positive results if atrocities like these continue to happen.

We therefore condemn any act of atrocity or of terrorism in our province in the midst of all our efforts of finding a lasting solution to these armed conflicts and thereby achieve peace.

We urge those responsible for these illegal acts to stop them in order to enhance the healthy dynamism of the process of forging a lasting peace.

EMMYLOU “LALA” TALIÑO-MENDOZA
Governor

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