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Firefight yields guns, landmine

Two firearms and one improvised explosive device (IED) were recovered when the 29th Infantry Battalion clashed with more or less seven communist guerrillas in Sitio Palidan, Barangay Puting Bato, Cabadbaran City, Agusan del Norte at 11:25 a.m. last February 11.

Maj. Francisco Garello Jr., the civil-military operations officer of the 402nd Infantry Brigade, said the rebels were members of the Sandatahang Yunit Pampropaganda (SYP) 21C, belonging to Guerrilla Front 21 of the North Eastern Mindanao Regional Committee (NEMRC)

Garello said the 15-minute firefight resulted in the recovery of one AK-47 rifle, one shotgun, and one anti-personnel mine.

“No casualty was reported from the government side while undetermined on the (NPA), but heavy bloodstains were discovered along their escape route,” he added.

Since January this year, the 402nd Brigade recorded a total of 12 encounters, mainly due to the information provided by local residents.

In a statement, Brig. Gen. Maurito L. Licudine, commander of the 402nd Infantry Brigade, said the firefight could have been avoided if the NPAs did not resort to violence or acts of terror.

“But we have a mandate to do in protecting the Filipino people and securing our land. In this situation and even in our past encounters, people have clearly resented the presence of these terrorists as they have been informing us on the locations of the (NPAs),” he said.

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