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2 killed in clashes between army and communist rebels

TWO New People’s Army guerrillas were killed, and three high-powered firearms were seized in separate armed clashes in Surigao del Sur and Bukidnon on July 7-8.

Meanwhile, two other rebels surrendered and turned over six high-powered firearms in Lianga.

The 4th Infantry Division identified the slain rebel as Risam Gonzales Gam, a member of Squad 3, Sentro de Grabidad 16 (SDG16), Guerilla Front 16, North Eastern Mindanao Regional Committee (NEMRC) and a resident of Barangay Sinay, Sibagat, Agusan del Sur.

Major Francisco Garello Jr., the spokesperson of 4th Infantry Division, said the army continued its crackdown on the communist rebel remnants in Surigao del Sur, resulting in the clash between the 36th Infantry Battalion of the 901st Infantry Brigade and eight rebels belonging to the composite squad of Platoon 1, Guerilla Front 30 (GF30) and Sandatahang Yunit Pamproganda 16C (SPY16C), both under NEMRC.

Troops also captured M653 Assault Rifle at the encounter site. 

Meanwhile, troops of the 43rd Division Reconnaissance Company (43DRC) of the 403rd Infantry Brigade successfully tracked down the fleeing members of the Regional Sentro De Gravidad (RSDG) Compaq of the North Central Mindanao Regional Committee (NCRMC) after two separate encounters in the hinterlands of Barangay Bontongon, Impasugong, Bukidnon on July 7.   

The 30-minute clash resulted in the death of an unidentified male rebel and the capture of an M4A1 5.56mm Carbine Rifle and M14 7.62mm Rifle, including numerous war materiel and personal belongings.

Moreover, Garello said another two lives were saved and will be reintegrated into mainstream society under the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP) after two CNTs surrendered through the joint efforts of the 3rd Special Forces Battalion and 75th Infantry Battalion under the OPCON of the 401st Infantry Brigade on July 8, at Barangay San Isidro, Surigao del Sur.

The surrendered CNTs identified as alias KR, Mess Officer of Squad 1, and alias Jong-jong, Vice Squad Leader of Squad 3, both belonging to RSDG, NEMRC.

Alias KR revealed to soldiers that they abandoned the communist terrorist group (CTG) due to demoralization within their ranks brought about by the relentless military operations and isolation from communities due to the lack of support from the communities.

They also revealed the location of an arms cache resulting in the recovery of two (2) .50 Caliber Sniper Rifles, four AK47 Rifles, and numerous ammunition and magazines.

In a statement, 4ID commander Major General Jose Maria R. Cuerpo II emphasized their determination to pursue the remnants and the support of the active civilian communities as the key factor and the game changer in the campaign against the NPA. 

“The CTG has further weakened its criminal capabilities and is in a state of disillusionment. We have prevailed,” Cuerpo said.

“Our past and recent successful encounters and surrenders from the CTG have been a consistent trend for the CTG’s weakening state. We will continue the fight under the government’s whole-of-nation approach for our people who have now felt the relatively safe environment and are enjoying genuine peace, free from threat and danger in their communities from these criminal groups,” he added.


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