An new People’s Army member and a soldier were killed in five encounters between soldiers and Communist guerrillas in different areas over the weekend.
This came after the CPP founder Jose Maria Sison directed the New People’s Army to intensify attacks across the country.
Col. Ezra Balagtey, the spokesperson of Eastern Mindanao Command, said the troops of the 1003rd Infantry Brigade were responding to the reported arms cache in Sitio Sil-angon, Barangay Cawayan, San Fernando, Bukidnon. They then shot it out with the rebels at 10:30 a.m. on March 2.
Balagtey said the brief skirmish led to the death one rebel and the seizure of three shotguns.
Earlier at 9:30 a.m. of the same day, one team from the 3rd Special Forces Battalion encountered undetermined numbers of rebels in Barangay Mabuhay, Prosperidad, Agusan del Sur.
He said the brief encounter claimed the life Cpl. Ambert C. Maramag.
In a separate instance, at about 9:20 a.m. of March 2, troops from the 30th Infantry Battalion was attacked by an undetermined number of rebels, which led to a 20-minute firefight in Sitio Katikoyan, Barangay Camam-onan, Gigaquit, Surigao del Norte.
Accordingly, the rebels scampered to different directions, leaving a bandoleer containing AK-47 ammunition, one anti-personnel mine, 100-meter detonation wire; Motorola HH radio, and other belongings.
Late afternoon of March 1, troops from the 4th Scout Ranger Battalion figured in an encounter with rebels in Barangay San Roque, San Miguel, Surigao del Sur. The firefight lasted for about 15 minutes with no casualty reported on both sides.
Meanwhile, Lt. Gen. Felimon T. Santos Jr., Commander Eastern Mindanao Command, attributes the cooperation of the community who reported the presence of rebels in their areas.
Santos said, “The NPAs should read the message that they are not welcome in the communities. Instead of continuously joining the armed group in futility they should lay down their arms and join the mainstream, our doors are open and willing to assist in their surrender,” he added.
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