Tour guide hit, foreign bird watchers caught in Army-NPA crossfire
MALAYBALAY CITY, Bukidnon, February 17 — A stray bullet hit a local tour guide of seven foreign nationals while bird watching, Friday morning, near Mt. Kitanglad Nature Park in barangay Dalwangan, Malaybalay City.
Victim Carlito Gayramara, confined in Malaybalay Polymedic General Hospital, said a bullet passed through his left arm when they were caught in the crossfire at about 8:00 a.m, February 13.
Based on the visitors’ permit granted, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) here identified the birdwatchers as British nationals Peter Simpson, Paul Thomas Rendell, and Jill Patricia Rendell; Danish nationals Leo Soegaard Borch, Birgitte Noerregaard, and Ole Frederiksen; and Australian national Richard Lindsay Johnstone.
Col. Jesse A. Alvarez clarified that the Australian national earlier reported missing, only went into hiding and got separated from the group.
On the same day, he said, the seven tourists were back to their homesteads in Cagayan de Oro City.
The Philippine Army’s 1st Special Forces Battalion had a clash with the rebel groups of New Peoples Army three days earlier in nearby Kapitan Anghel, also in this city, Alvarez said.
“One of our soldiers was wounded and eventually died during that clash. That’s why our troops were in the area to pursue the rebels,” he said. (PIA)
(Mt. Kitanglad mountain range, Image credit: Kleomarlo/ Citypeek)