PUERTO PRINCESA CITY, Philippines — A Marine private was wounded when suspected members of the New People’s Army detonated an improvised explosive device in Bataraza town, southern Palawan, early Tuesday afternoon.
Lieutenant Colonel Danilo Facundo, Marine Battalion Landing Team 4 commander, said the injured soldier from the 24th Marine Company was wounded in the foot and was in stable condition at a hospital in Brooke’s Point town.
The commanding officer did not say the name of the soldier who was hurt by shrapnel in the left foot, claiming his family has to be informed first.
Facundo said the soldier and three comrades were onboard an M35 truck from Barangay Bono-Bono on the way to Barangay Rio Tuba when the blast happened in Sitio Tagbituka, Barangay Tarusan around 1 p.m.
“It’s possible that they (NPA) are retaliating because taking over their training camp in Barangay Samariñana (Brooke’s Point) had really hurt them,” Facundo said.
Mayor Abraham Ibba, who was with first responders to the incident, said Tarusan, which hosts a banana plantation and pineapple farms of Del Monte, was where he was ambushed in 2015.
“The site is where I was also ambushed before. It’s characterized by hilly areas and some parts are densely wooded,” Ibba said.
He added his office has received reports of communist guerrillas sighted in Barangay Culandanum, at the border of Bataraza and Rizal.