Tag Archive: Northern Samar

A mayor running for provincial board member of Northern Samar, two of his running mates, and a civilian pilot were injured when the helicopter they were riding crash-landed at the shore of Laoang town Tuesday morning, police said.

Andre Abalon, incumbent mayor of San Roque, suffered “severe head injuries” and was brought to the Catarman Doctors’ Hospital, PO3 Michael Irinco, desk officer at the Laoang Police Station, said in a phone interview.

Dioscoro Asinas and Panoy Pinca, Abalon’s fellow candidates for provincial board member in Northern Samar’s second district, were brought to the same hospital along with pilot Capt. Dino Garcia due “minor injuries,” Irinco said.

The incident occurred around 9:30 a.m. while the helicopter piloted by Garcia was flying over in Brgy. Rawis.

The helicopter, allegedly rented by re-electionist 2nd District Rep. Emil Ong, crash landed due to “possible engine failure,” Irinco said, citing initial investigation results.

Ong is seeking re-election under the National Unity Party, where Abalon, Asinas, and Pinca are also listed, according to the Commission on Elections’ list of candidates. (John Roson)

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Soldier hurt in N. Samar clash

One soldier was injured when government troops clashed with suspected New People’s Army (NPA) members in Palapag, Northern Samar, on Wednesday, the military said.

Capt. Gene Orense, spokesman of the Army’s 8th Infantry Division, identified the injured as Pfc. Joseph Griego, of the 34th Infantry Battalion.

Members of the 34th IB encountered an undetermined number of rebels in Brgy. Jangtud around 8:25 a.m., Orense said.

The 20-minute firefight resulted to the wounding of Griego and an undetermined number on the rebel side, he said.

Meanwhile, soldiers and policemen arrested five men who were caught carrying guns and explosives in Gandara, Samar, also on Wednesday.

The five, who were carrying four loaded caliber-.45 pistols, a hand grenade, explosive devices, and military back packs, were arrested in the outskirts of Brgy. Canhumawid around 8 a.m., Orense said.

When asked if the armed men were NPA members, Orense declined to comment, saying there is still an ongoing investigation.

The suspects are presently under the custody of the Gandara Police, which is preparing appropriate charges, he said. (John Roson)

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3 NPA camps seized in Samar

Government troops seized three New People’s Army (NPA) camps on Samar Island following clashes with the rebel group, a military spokesman said.

Two NPA camps were found in Matuguinao, Samar, and the third in Lope De Vega, Northern Samar, Capt. Gene Orense, spokesman of the Army’s 8th Infantry Division, said.

The first camp was seized after members of the 63rd Infantry Battalion figured in a 30-minute firefight with rebels in Brgy. Inubod, Matuguinao, on Friday.

Two abandoned camps were found in the hinterlands of Brgy. Del Rosario, also in Matuguinao, and in Lope De Vega on Monday.

All camps have bunkers that can accommodate up to 30 people, while the one in Inubod even had advance posts, a kitchen, a hall, and a toilet, Orense said.

Around 5 p.m. Monday, the 63rd IB clashed again with rebels in Brgy. Rizal, Matuguinao. A soldier, identified as Pfc. Elwin Bert Paller, was hurt in the fighting.

Orense said the rebels are abandoning camps not only because of military operations, but also because they are losing support from local communities that used to host them.

“‘Yang mga lugar na ‘yan, dati malakas sila (rebels) diyan, ngayon inaabandona nila ‘yung mga kampo nila, ibig sabihin nawawalan na sila ng suporta dun sa mga barangay,” he said. (John Roson)

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A large band of New People’s Army (NPA) members attacked the home of Mayor Romualdo Menzon in Lapinig, Northern Samar, on Friday night, killing one of his bodyguards, police said.

About 50 rebels led by a still unknown commander carried out the attack on Menzon’s home in the town proper around 7 p.m., Senior Supt. Brigido Unay, Northern Samar provincial police director, said.

“Wala naman si mayor dahil namimingwit, so ‘yung security niya ang nakipagputukan dun sa mga NPA… ang report is isa lang ‘yung nasawi,” Unay said in a phone interview.

After the attack, the rebels maneuvered to the Lapinig Police Station onboard a truck but did not engage the lawmen in a firefight.

“Hindi naman nila pinasok (‘yung station), sinabihan lang na ‘sumuko na kayo’ tapos umalis na,” Unay said.

The attackers then withdrew towards the direction of Arteche, Eastern Samar.

Members of the Army’s 34th Infantry Battalion have been sent to pursue the rebels while the Eastern Visayas regional police has placed all police stations in the three Samar provinces under “full alert” because of the attack, Unay said. (John Roson)

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