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Army intensifies operations vs. NPA in Bukidnon, MisOr

The 403RD Infantry Brigade launched a military operation in the boundary of Bukidnon and Misamis Oriental on Tuesday after receiving reports of the presence of the New People’s Army (NPA) in the area.

In a text message, Maj. Gen. Franco Nemesio Gacal, the commander of 4th Infantry Division, said that the operations are still ongoing.

“It may compromise the safety of our troops,” Gacal said.

Lt. Col. Ezra Balagtey, the spokesperson of Eastern Mindanao Command, told reporters on Wednesday’s AFP-PNP press conference held at The Royal Mandaya Hotel, that there was a clash with the rebels on Tuesday in Impasug-ong, Bukidnon.

“The 403rd Infantry Brigade conducted a focused military operation that resulted to an encounter,” Balagtey said.

He said there are no further details on the encounter except on the reported clash. “As of now, there were no reported casualty at the encounter area,” he added.

Balagtey explained that they were also provided with an air support to cover the troops engaged in an encounter

“As what you have seen there are helicopters flying,” he further said.

The spokesman said the NPA units are already converging at the boundary of Bukidnon, Davao del Norte, and Misamis due to the military offensives and the collapse of most underground mass organizations.

Capt. Jerry Lamosao, the 10th Infantry Division Public Affairs Office chief, said they also deployed Community Support Program teams to connect with the communities.

“Our aim is that those possible wounded NPAs or who escaped or scattered, we’ll be able to locate them and have them treated,” he said. “We will locate them from the residents’ report then help them be with their family,” he added.

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