A NEW People’s Army guerrilla was killed while four others were detained, including two minors, following skirmishes in Talakag and Valencia City, Bukidnon on Sept. 9 and 10.
The fatality was identified as Romeo Campilan, while June and Angelyn Naingue were captured. Meanwhile, two male teens, aged 15 and 17, respectively, were rescued during the military operations.
Maj. Alex Mindalano, Eastern Mindanao Command spokesman, said the troops of the 88th Infantry Battalion (88th IB) engaged ten communist guerrillas belonging to Platoon Bagsik, Guerrilla Front Malayag, Sub-Regional Committee-2, North Central Mindanao Regional Committee (NCMRC), headed by alias DR, following a tip from concerned citizens.
The troops tracked down their hideouts at the deserted area of Purok 10, Sitio Narulang, Barangay Laligan, Valencia City, on Sept. 10. The firefight lasted for around 30 minutes which resulted in the arrest of the four rebels.
Troops also seized their firearms composed of three M16 rifles and three AR15 rifles.
Meanwhile, the 1st Special Forces Battalion (1SFBn) successfully prevented the NPA’s plan to destroy the equipment of the 524th Engineering Brigade in the construction of a road project in Barangay Baylanan, Talakag, Bukidnon on Sept. 9.
The 1SFBn encountered around 20 members of Guerilla Front 68B of the Sub-Regional Committee 4 of the NCMRC at Sitio Piglacogan, Barangay Tikalaan, Talakag, Bukidnon, which led to the death of a rebel and the seizure of an M16 rifle, a 9mm Beretta, and two rifle grenades.
EastMinCom chief Lt. Gen. Greg Almerol said the clashes sent a strong statement that the people are already fed up with the NPA’s continued atrocities in their communities, so they helped the government’s campaign to end the communist insurgency by reporting suspicious men and activities.
The EastMinCom commander also said that the parents’ drive to protect their children from the NPA’s recruitment schemes and deceptive tactics make them more eager to participate.
“The troops’ recent rescue of combatant minors only shows the NPA’s desperate recruitment of innocent children to the armed struggle. They have no regard for the lives of minors and it is a clear violation of the International Humanitarian Law,” he said.
Moreover, Almerol said that the NPA’s atrocious acts only prove that it is anti-family and development because it continues to recruit minors and destroy government developmental projects.
“I enjoin the remaining NPA members and leaders to embrace the government’s sincere offer to help them start a new life through the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (ECLIP). We do not want any more bloodshed and through ECLIP, we can help you to live a better life,” he added.
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