Monday, October 26, 2020

NPA Cadre killed during an encounter between Army troops in North Cotabato

MAGPET, Cotabato
- Prior to the incident on the successful neutralization of a notorious CPP-NPA Terrorist (CNT) leader by the 90th Infantry Battalion, 602nd Infantry Brigade in Matalam, Cotabato, the 72nd Infantry Battalion has orchestrated series of gun battles against the Communist Terrorist Group (CTG) led by Zaldy Gulmatico Pulido alias Joel/Cobra, Secretary of GF53, SMRC in an isolated Sitio of Brgy Malire, Antipas, Cotabato on October 1, 2020.

The said encounter resulted in the death of two CNT comrades and wounding of others, namely: Melgen C Lobgoban alias James, former VCO, GF56 and currently Team Leader, Squad 1, FGU53, a resident Paquibato District, Davao City; and Romeo Awe Jr alias Nimno, Team Leader, Squad 2, FGU53, a resident of Brgy. Sibulan, Sta Cruz, Davao Sur.

Captured also from the CNTs' possession are one M14 rifle, three M14 Magazines with ammunition, a Bandoler, an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) and switch detonator, two 7.62mm Linked ammo for M60 machinegun, personal belongings, subversive documents, cooking sets, and assorted medical paraphernalia.

After a week of pursuit operations, the group of alias Joel, leader of GF53 was tracked down by the troops of 72IB through reliable informants in Brgy. Salat, Pres Roxas, North Cotabato on October 7, 2020, and subsequently ensued a running gun battle. After two hours of another pursuit, another skirmish transpired in Sitio Laga-laga, Brgy Bato, Matalam that resulted in a 30-minute firefight leaving behind subversive documents and personal belongings of the CTG.

The series of encounters affected the CTG's plans and divided them into smaller groups.

Following the assessment of 72IB that the group of alias Joel is still hiding near the long-stretched river bank of Pulangi River, both 90IB and 72IB continued exchanging information that formulated 90IB a decisive and deliberate concept of maneuver, utilizing the 62DRC in pursuit of evading the CTG near the riverbank of Pulangi River in Brgy. Arakan of Matalam municipality.

While the troopers of 90IB, 602Bde lunched security operations, they encountered more or less 20 CNTs that resulted in the death of alias Joel and capturing of one (1) M16A1 rifle with scope, three (3) magazines loaded with ammunition, subversive documents of important value October 24 at Sitio Rudson same barangay.

The successful killing of the CTG Cadre and wounding of others was the joint effort of the Army troopers of 602Bde, 6ID and 1002Bde,10ID, and with the collective and reliable information received from the residents of said barangay. According to the locals, the CTG came down from the mountainous part of the barangay asking for food and water.

"The success of the Army operation was due to the cooperation of the residents in the community and the determined efforts of the Army units in dismantling the armed bandits extorting money from businessmen, construction companies, politicians and some prominent individuals in North Cotabato," Ltc Rey T Alvarado, Battalion Commander of 72IB said in his remarks.

“To all members of the NPA bandits please join us in promoting peaceful and developed communities in North Cotabato. We urged the other members of GF53 to surrender, lay down their firearms and avail the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP) of the government; and live peacefully with their families and love ones," Ltc Alvarado continued.

Source: Civil-Military Operations Office, 72nd Infantry Battalion, Joint Task Force Agila, PA

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