Two New People’s Army (NPA) guerrillas were killed in clash with government troops belonging to the 75th Infantry Battalion in Barangay Bunawan Brook, Agusan del Sur at 3:45 p.m. on Sunday.
Capt. Edwin Leo Francisco, the Civil-Military Operations officer of the 75th IB, said the troops were verifying the report from residents in the area about the presence of armed men in Sitio Sta. Monica. They encountered the rebels resulting in a 15-minute firefight.
Based on the report, the two NPAs killed belonged to the Guerilla Front 14 under Arnold Orlanes Conejar alias Jorlan, operating in the boundary municipalities of Agusan del Sur and Surigao del Sur.
The soldiers also recovered one Norinco AK47 rifle, one M16A1 rifle, one .45 caliber pistol, one grenade, empty magazines of AK47 and M16, backpacks, and personal items.
According to Lt. Col. Jaime Datuin, commanding officer of the 75IB, the encounter was the result of the joint efforts of battalion and the concerned residents of Sta. Monica.
“Without the efforts of the residents themselves in giving us timely and accurate information, we cannot pinpoint the exact location of these terrorists. And because of that, we were able to decisively engage them, stopping them on their extortion activities to the residents, and preventing them from conducting more atrocities,” Datuin said.
Col. Allan Hambala, commander of the 401st Infantry Brigade, said there will be no letup in military offensives until the remaining members of the NPA either surrender or neutralized.
“We now have three neutralized NPAs and five-high powered firearms recovered just this week, and I strongly believe this will send a strong message to these terrorists,”Hambala said. “Avail now of the government’s amnesty initiative or die later. You are free to choose.”
The bodies were brought to Dolete Funeral Homes in Trento, Agusan del Sur for identification and proper disposition.