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BUTUAN CITY – The military recovered high-powered firearms in two encounters with the New People’s Army in Bukidnon and Surigao del Sur on April 30 and May 2
Major Francisco P. Garello Jr., chief of the 4th Infantry Division Public Affairs Office (PAO), said the 1st Special Forces Battalion led by Lt. Col. Roger Anthony E. Nuylan Jr. under the 403rd Infantry (Peacemaker) Brigade captured three M16 Armalite rifles, magazines and live ammunition, backpacks, medical kits with assorted medicines, and personal belongings after a gun battle in Cambangon, Barangay Lilingayon, Valencia City, Bukidnon on April 30.
“Out-gunned and out-positioned, the rebels ran away in different directions, dragging along with them their undetermined number of casualties, after a 25-minute fierce firefight,” Garello said.
He said troops are pursuing the fleeing 30 fully armed combined elements of the Platun Ipad and Platun Huawei of the Sub-Regional Committee 5 (SRC5) of the Communist Party of the Philippines-NPA North Central Mindanao Regional Committee (NCMRC) in Cambangon.
Nuylan said they have been pursuing them since last month.
“We have been tracking the same terrorist group we encountered last April 12 in Bubong, Lanao del Sur,” he said.
“They continue evading our troops due to exhaustion with limited ammunition and food supplies. But we will pursue them, we will not give them breathing space until they realize the futility in fighting the government and that the only option left for them is to surrender voluntarily,” Nuylan added.
Two days later on May 2 in Barangay Maitum, Tandag City, Surigao del Sur, the 2nd Scout Ranger Battalion (SRBn) under the operational control of the 901st Infantry Brigade encountered 10 communist guerillas believed to be members of the weakened Guerilla Front 30 of the CPP-NPA Northeastern Mindanao Regional Committee (NEMRC).
Soldiers recovered an AK-47 rifle, a grenade, and assorted personal belongings and supplies after the skirmish.
Troops were responding to reports regarding the presence of NPA rebels in the barangay extorting food supplies and conducting recruitment when the encounter occurred, Brig. Gen. George Banzon, commanding general of the Army 901st Infantry Brigade, said.
No casualty was reported on the government side in the two encounters. (Mike Crismundo/Manila Bulletin)