On May 17, 2008 at about 8:50 in the morning, Pfc Randy Pepito and three other enlisted personnel, was ambushed and landmined while hauling gravel at Barangay Roxas, Lapinig, Northern, Samar. All of them are with the 543rd Engineering Construction Battalion, the construction team tasked to undertake the opening of the Lapinig-Jipapad road in order to connect Northern Samar to Eastern Samar. Reports are that the ambush was done by more or less six Maoist Communist insurgents of the New People's Army (NPA) armed with high powered fire arms.
What is ironic is that this is the most revolutionary thing that will happen to Lapinig and the entire province of Northern Samar, a road linking the province direct to Eastern Samar. Previously, one has to go to Samar province (formerly Western Samar) hundreds of kilometers away to get to Eastern Samar. Lapinig in itself is a remote Pacific side town accessible by means of pump boats only and made more dificult to reach by big Pacific Ocean waves.
Col. Eduardo del Rosario, commanding officer of the 803rd Infantry Brigade, condemned the NPA ambush as anti-people and anti-development. No casualty was reported on the part of the government side while an undetermined number of casualty on the NPA side was speculated because of the presence of blood traces on the enemy position.