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NPAs in Caraga, NorthMin continue to crumble: Army

The 4th Infantry Division continues to make gains against the New People’s Army as it intensifies its military offensives in Northern Mindanao and Caraga.

Maj. Regie Go, the spokesperson of the 4th ID, said on July 10, a guerrilla was killed in an encounter with the troops of the 3rd Special Forces Battalion under Lt. Col. Joey Baybayan in Barangay Mabuhay, Prosperidad, Agusan del Sur.

Go said the unidentified rebel was left behind by his comrades in their haste to escape. Soldiers recovered one improvised explosives device, one backpack with personal belongings, one commercial radio, cellphone and gallons of gasoline.

On July 12, the troops of the 23rd Infantry Battalion, under Lt. Col. Francisco Molina Jr, captured an NPA hideout following a clash in Barangay Guinabsan, Buenavista, Agusan del Norte.

The next day, an NPA leader surrendered to the 23rd IB and pinpointed the location of three hidden high-powered firearms in Sitio Malague, Barangay Guinabsan, Agusan del Norte.

Alias Belly, vice commander of Squad 1, SPP Kingdom, assisted the troops in recovering one 5.56mm M16 rifle, two M4A1 carbine rifles, magazines, medicines, food supplies, assorted backpacks, hammocks, civilian clothing, and subversive documents.

Further, four other NPA died in a clash with the government troops in Barangay Bunawan Brook, Agusan del Sur on 2 separate encounters on July 14.

Meanwhile, troops of the 75th Infantry Battalion, under Lt. Col. Jaime Datuin, responded to the reports of NPA extortion activities, which resulted in the deaths of four NPAs and the recovery of two Norinco AK-47 rifles, two M16A1 rifles, one Cal. 45 pistol, one hand grenade, empty magazines, backpacks, and personal items.

On the other hand, Loreto Rinsulat Celosia, a former team leader of Guerrilla Front 21-A, was apprehended through a joint AFP-PNP law enforcement operation in Purok 4, Barangay Wawa, Bayugan City, Agusan del Sur on July 14.

Celosia has a pending case for multiple attempted murder, attempted murder, and rape. Recovered from his possession was one .45 caliber pistol with one magazine loaded with seven rounds ammunition.

Furthermore, 70 NPA members and supporters surrendered to the 65th Infantry Battalion under Ltc. Benjamin Pajarito, on July 14 in Barangay San Rafael, Talakag, Bukidnon.

Maj. Gen. Franco Nemesio Gacal, commander of the 4th ID, said they will continue the offensives to flush out the remaining guerrillas.

“We are calling on to the NPA terrorists to surrender and return to the folds of the law and avail of the E-CLIP while you still can,”Gacal said.

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