Tuesday, April 20, 2021

2 NPA Members Slain, Enemy Firearms Seized in Skirmishes

NSFA, Panacan, Davao City
– A series of encounters in different areas of Eastern Mindanao resulted in the death of two members of the New People’s Army (NPA) and the seizure of several of their high-powered firearms.

A 40-minute skirmish with around 50 Communist New People’s Army Terrorists (CNTs) that erupted at Sitio Tun-ogan, Barangay Lilingayon, Valencia City, Bukidnon on April 16, 2021 resulted to the death of an NPA member after troops of the 1st Special Forces Battalion (1SFBn) thwarted the NPA’s planned atrocities.

The 1SFBn learned that the NPA was hatching plans of massive attacks through tip-off by the residents in the area, hence prompting them to take timely action. Troops also seized firearms, ammunition, and an improvised explosive device (IED) after the encounter.

Another NPA member was also slain in a separate encounter between the CNTs belonging to the Sub-Regional Sentro de Grabidad, Northeastern Mindanao Regional Committee (NEMRC) and troops of 3rd Special Forces Battalion at Sitio Magkahunao, Barangay Buhisan, San Agustin, Surigao del Sur on April 14.

Troops also recovered a total of four firearms composed of two M16A1 rifles, an AK 47 rifle, and M653 rifle, and two bandoleers bearing five fully-loaded M16 magazines and four fully-loaded AK47 magazines from the encounter site.

In two other separate skirmishes on April 8 and April 12 respectively, soldiers of the 36th Infantry Battalion and 29th Infantry Battalion further weakened the NPA’s firepower after recovering several high-powered firearms composed of an M14 rifle, M16 rifle, AK47 rifle, an IED and several ammunitions.

Eastern Mindanao Command (EastMinCom) Commander MGen. Greg T. Almerol credited the success of the operations to the troops’ sustained crackdown on CNTs and the communities’ firm support on the government’s initiative to put an end to the local communist armed conflict.

“The communities’ timely reports and coordination with the troops play crucial roles in the success of our operations. Without their firm support, we would not be able to curtail the NPA’s planned atrocities,” MGen. Almerol said and adding that this only reflects the Filipinos’ sentiments against the NPA.

The EastMinCom Commander further extended his invitation to the remaining CNTs to peacefully surrender to the government and abandon their cause.

“The current peace and security situation in Eastern Mindanao reflects that there is no longer a place for the NPA to thrive. Many Barangays have already declared NPA members as persona non-grata and people in the communities are already aversed to their presence,” MGen. Almerol added.

“I urge the remaining NPA members to stop hurting themselves further by stubbornly fighting for a cause that has nowhere to go. Now is the best time to surrender as the government has already designed programs that will help you start a new life through the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program,” MGen Almerol reiterated.

MGen. Almerol furthered that although the Command dislikes the idea of using force but would not hesitate to use it should it be compelling in order to protect innocent lives.

Source: Public Information Office, Eastern Mindanao Command, AFP

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