Honor student hurt in landmine blast

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Monday, March 30, 2015

A GRADUATING honor student failed to attend the school's commencement exercises after she was critically hurt in a landmine explosion that hit sitio Totoy in Barangay San Jose, Monkayo, Compostela Valley last week.

Fighting for her life at the intensive care unit (ICU) of Davao Regional Hospital in Tagum City is 12-year-old Marcelyn Domicillo, a consistent honor student at New Totoy Elementary School in Monkayo.

Domicillo and her grandmother Rosalia Andaya were hurt when the landmine planted by suspected members of the New People's Army (NPA) exploded near their house around noon of March 24.


Philippine Army's 10th Infantry Division spokesperson, Lieutenant Vergel Lacambra, said Andaya was already discharged from the hospital.

He said the victims sustained multiple shrapnel wounds in different parts of their body.

"All we can do now is to hope and pray for her (Domicillo) immediate recovery, and that no more civilian, no more child like her would have to suffer the same fate," Lacambra said.

Domicillo's family said they would have been glad if their daughter was able to attend the commencement exercise and receive her awards personally.

"Every child's aspiration is to walk up the stage and receive ribbons and medals after years of hard work and perseverance in school. But this dream has been denied for our honor student Marcelyn," Andaya said, as the family calls for justice.

Lacambra said before the landmine exploded last March 24, an encounter between the Army's 25th Infantry Battalion troops and some 20 members of the NPA's SDG Front-3 happened at the same place.

Government troops recovered the body of a suspected rebel, three high-powered firearms and one improvised landmine from the encounter site.

"Desperate to withdraw from the intense firefight, the NPA rebels detonated a landmine in an effort to stall the government troops. The two hapless civilians, however, were hit instead," Lacambra said.

Lacambra said their troops near the blast site then sought assistance from the local officials and transported the two victims to Montevista District Hospital and eventually to Davao Regional Hospital in Tagum City.

The local government unit through the Monkayo Municipal Social Welfare Development office, the 25th Infantry and 1001st Infantry Brigade had extended assistance to the victims.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on March 31, 2015.

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