Four soldiers were killed in an ambush by alleged New People’s Army (NPA) members in Davao City on Sunday afternoon, the military said.

Maj. Jacob Thaddeus Obligado, commander of the Army’s 10th Civil-Military Operations Battalion, said the ambush occurred around 5:30 p.m. in Brgy. Mapula, Paquibato district.

The soldiers were riding three motorcycles on the way back from a market when they were fired upon by NPA members, Obligado told Bandera in a phone interview.

“Actually hindi ambush ‘yun, massacre ‘yun kasi they (soldiers) were all unarmed, puro mga namalengke ‘yun, unarmed soldiers ‘yung mga ‘yun. They were all in civilian attire… they were summarily executed, they were non-combatants,” Obligado said.

Lt. Col. Lyndon Paniza, spokesman of the Army’s 10th Infantry Division, identified the slain soldiers as Pfc. Ahian Vir Dolero, Pfc. Marvin Lauronal, Pfc. Noel Sigan, and Pvt. Marcelo Himaya, all of the 60th Infantry Battalion’s “peace and development team.”

Dolero, Lauronal, and Sigan have been brought to the Villa Funeral Homes in Panabo City, Davao del Norte while Himaya, who was reported as missing earlier, was found dead and believed to be summarily executed, Paniza said in a statement.

“Troops are now on hot pursuit operation to apprehend the perpetrators,” he added. (John Roson)

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