Mom, baby boy hit in crossfire between army and NPA rebs
CATARMAN, N.SAMAR – A young mother and her one- year- old baby boy were injured after they were caught in a crossfire between the military and the New People’s Army in a remote barangay in Gamay, Northern Samar Thursday afternoon.
The victims, 22- year- old Genalyn Jagonoy and her one year 4 months old baby Gabriel, residents of Brgy. Luneta in Gamay, are presently confined at the Northern Samar Provincial Hospital (NSPH),this town.The military and some barangay officials brought them to the hospital Thursday evening.
The attending physician, Dr. Gilbert Figueroa Layon, said that the Jagonoy sustained multiple gunshots in the lower extremities or in both legs, while her baby had a wound in his buttocks.
“Fortunately no bone was fractured; the pressing problem now is the bleeding in her wounds,” Layon said, adding that he would be operating on the mother as he found a metallic material that hit her leg.
“But it will just be a minor operation,” Layon said. Both victims were declared as out of danger.
Based on the report from the Northern Samar Police Provincial Office (NSPPO), the victims were injured in the encounter between the Alpha Company of the 34thInfantry Battalion led by Sergeant Severino Soriano Jr. and an undetermined number of New People’sArmy(NPAs).
The victims were first brought to the Gamay District Hospital for treatment then transported to the NSPH for further medications.
Jagonoy’s younger sister Anielyn, 9, also sustained a minor wound and was left at the Gamay District Hospital.
In a mobile interview with Colonel William Peñafiel, commander of the 34th Infantry Battalion based in the second district of Northern Samar, he narrated that at around 3:30 p.m. last Thursday, some soldiers was fetching water in the area when they saw a man waving at a distance. Thereafter, the soldiers heard three gunshots.
“Inunahan sila, so doon na nagstart yung firefight that lasted for about 20 minutes,” Peñafiel said.
The military learned about the wounded civilians when the barangay chairman of Malidong, Carlito Esponilla, came to them for help after the encounter.
They suspected that the bullets that hit the victims most probably came from the NPAs, who reportedly would make “withdrawal fires” while retreating.
“Gumagawa sila ng reconnaissance fires habang umaatras sa scene,” said Peñafiel.
Meanwhile, in an exclusive interview, Jagonoy said that they were in the area making copra with some relatives when they heard the gunshots. Her relatives immediately scampered while she and her baby and sister were left behind.
“Diri na ak makadalagan kay naigo na ako, pati akun anak ngan manghud may samad na..(I could not run anymore bacause I was already hit; my child and my sister were also wounded,” she said. “Nagtawag nala ako tabang,” (I just called for help)”
The victim’s husband, Billy, said that they had no plans of filing any complaints and only asks that they be given assistance for the hospitalization of his family. (RACHEL V. ARNAIZ)
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