The Eastern Mindanao Command recorded more than 1,000 arrests and surrenders involving New People’s Army rebels from January to Dec. 10 this year.
Lt. Gen. Felimon Santos Jr., EastMinCom chief, expressed gratitude over the support of the communities, particularly for declaring the communist group persona non grata.
“We are appreciative of these gestures and ask them to continue to implement it in deeds and spirit,” he added.
He also directed his units to intensify their security operations to allow the communities to celebrate the holiday season peacefully.
“Let our continuous sacrifice with our relentless operations to deny the terrorists the opportunity to carry-out coercion and intimidation to our communities be our gift so that they can peacefully celebrate the holiday season and live peacefully in the next years to come,” he said.
On Dec. 10, at around 5 p.m., troops of the 403rd Infantry Brigade encountered more or less 15 NPA members in Mt. Obulan, Barangay Banglay, Lagonglong, Misamis Oriental.
Lt. Col. Ezra Balagtey, the spokesperson of EastMincom, said the 30-minute firefight erupted after the soldiers responded to the tip given by the community regarding armed men loitering in the area.
The skirmish resulted in the death of one communist rebel, the capture of two M653 rifles; one M16 rifle; one AK47 assault rifle; one Garand rifle; and one .22 caliber rifle.
The body was turned over to the Lagonglong barangay for identification and disposition.
Meanwhile, the troops from the 26th Infantry Battalion encountered an undetermined number of NPA members in Barangay San Pedro, San Luis, Agusan del Sur. A certain Reneboy Rocero was captured while the other rebels escaped.
Seized from him were one .45 caliber pistol, one hand grenade, four cellphones, and subversive documents. He was turned over to the San Luis Municipal Police Station for filing of the appropriate charge.