Alleged New People’s Army rebels attacked soldiers and police officers conducting patrols under the enhanced community quarantine measure in Pantukan, Davao de Oro early Tuesday morning.
Meanwhile, an NPA member was killed in an encounter.
2Lt Kim Carlos, the civil-military operations officer of the 71st IB, said soldiers of 71st Infantry Battalion and Regional Mobile Force Company were conducting their usual active defense patrols when they were ambushed by an undetermined number of rebels.
They fought back and the clash lasted for 15 minutes, which resulted in the death of one rebel.
Soldiers also recovered one Bushmaster MOD-XM15 E2S loaded with 25 rounds of ammo, one AK-47 with three magazines loaded with 77 rounds of ammo, 72 rounds of Garand rifle ammo, one air gun rifle, one upper air gun rifle, three backpacks with personal belongings, subversive documents, one cellphone with several sim cards, medical supplies and paraphernalia.
Last March 29, the CPP-NDF-NPA declared a reciprocal ceasefire in connection with the COVID 19 pandemic.
“This tragic event disheartens me because of the loss of life,” Lt. Col. Sonny Gonzales, commanding Officer of the 71IB, said.
“We call on those remaining NPA members to surrender and avail of the government’s E-Clip (Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program) and live a normal life. Also, we appeal to the parents to be vigilant of the activities of their children as they are vulnerable to the deceptive recruitment of the CPP-NDF-NPA,” he further said.
Meanwhile, a vice political guide of the NPA surrendered to the soldiers of the 67th Infantry Battalion in Sitio Casunugan, Baganga, Davao Oriental on Monday morning.
2Lt Jerwin Cambangay, the civil-military operations officer of the 67th IB, only identified him as alias Ron Ron, 20, a member of the Mandaya tribe in Davao Oriental, and a leader of Squad Primera, Front North, Sub-Regional Command of the Southern Mindanao Regional Committee (SMRC).
He also surrendered brought along his M16A1 rifle.
Based on the initial interview, he joined the underground movement (UGM) of the Guerilla Front 20 in Sitio Africa, Barangay Sta Maria, Trento, Agusan Del Sur sometime in January 2019. He escaped from the group on April 5 at the vicinity of Sitio Casunugan, Barangay Mahan-ub, Baganga.
“I surrendered due to hunger, hardship, and fear for myself and my family,” he said.
In his statement, Lt. Col. Louie Dema-ala, the 67th IB commander, said: “The implementation of the Executive Order No. 70 and the sincerity of all local chief executives of Davao Oriental to achieve a long and lasting peace through Good Governance paved the way for NPA members to surrender.”