A lieutenant of the Army’s elite Scout Rangers was killed while three other soldiers were injured when suspected New People’s Army (NPA) members detonated a landmine against a military convoy in New Bataan, Compostela Valley, Friday night.

Lieutenant Rodel Daguio, of the 4th Scout Ranger Company (4th SRC), died while undergoing treatment at the Montevista District Hospital, Lt. Col. Lyndon Paniza, Army 10th Infantry Division spokesman, said.

Private first class Richie Ursal, another member of the 4th SRC, was brought to the same hospital due to injuries but had to be transferred to the Davao Regional Hospital in Tagum City for further treatment, Paniza said.

Two other soldiers, identified as Ssgt. Arnold Pacino and Cpl. Jaime Clara of the 1001st Brigade, were also injured in the blast.

The incident occurred around 11 p.m. while the convoy of 4th SRC and 1001st Brigade members was passing through Brgy. Bantacan, on the way to the 66th Infantry Battalion headquarters also in New Bataan.

“Three vehicles ito, yung lead vehicle na KM450 ang tinamaan,” Paniza said in a phone interview.

The landmine was laid on the concrete highway, just 100 meters away from an Iglesia ni Cristo church and about 300 meters from a school, he said.

“The rebels who planted the landmine were unmindful if it will affect innocent civilians,” Paniza said.

The soldiers came from the 2nd Scout Ranger Battalion headquarters in Maco and passed by the 1001st Brigade camp before travelling to the 66th IB, according to Paniza.

“It was an administrative trip, may mission kasi itong 4th Scout Ranger Company sa area ng 66th IB,” he said. (John Roson)

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