Friday, June 19, 2015

Army unit overruns an NPA encampment in Bukidnon

From the Website of Philippine Army

Army unit overruns an NPA encampment in Bukidnon

Maramag, Bukidnon – troops of the 8th Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army overran an NPA encampment after an armed encounter took place on June 10, 2015, around 10:45 a.m., in an outskirt in Brgy. Calapaton, Kitaotao, Bukidnon.

The armed clash happened between the government troops against an undetermined number of armed persons who are suspected NPA members coming from the Guerilla Front 53, Southern Mindanao Regional Committee (SMRC) led by a certain Rachel Daguman alias YUDI.

The firefight lasted for about an hour, which resulted to the recovery of an Improvised Explosive Device (IED), some detonating chords, empty shells of AK-47 rifle, foodstuffs, medical supplies and subversive documents. The rebels flee, in disarray, towards different directions after the firefight. An Army soldier, PFC Glen Rojay Bacas (INF) PA, however, was Killed in Action (KIA) during the incident while casualties on the NPA side, as evident by the globs of blood and scattered first aid materials tainted in blood that were seen by the troops in the abandoned encampment, is being determined.

Recently, the 8th Infantry Battalion conducted combat operations in the said area due to the repeated reports of the local populace thereat about a significant number of armed NPA rebels that threaten them through force taxation and extortion. The ongoing combat operations are also conducted in support to the law enforcement operations of the PNP in the area in relation to the burning incident in Brgy. Palacapao, Quezon, Bukidnon last March 8, 2015 that is adjacent to the area of the incident. The armed persons, who were tracked by government troops, are believed to be the same persons who perpetrated the said burning incident. Incidentally, a group of activist conducted a rally in the town center of the municipality of Kitaotao and Maramag in the same province on June 9, 2015, a day prior to the armed encounter, demanding to stop the military operations in the area. Significantly, it was during this day that the military was closing in with the encampment of the reported armed group.

Currently, the military units in the area are coordinating with the local government units of the municipalities of Kitaotao and Quezon to address the concerns of the local populace which are obviously being exploited by some legal fronts of the Communist Party of the Philippines who are out to protect the wrong doings of their armed wing, the NPA. “We are once again calling upon the people of Bukidnon, especially in the municipalities of Quezon and Kitaotao, to be very discerning in dealing with organizations that only aim to exploit their concerns and offer solutions of violent nature. We also call upon the nearby communities where our operations are being conducted not to panic and avoid listening to political cadres of the CPP urging them to evacuate. There is no need for evacuation. Our troops religiously follow the rules of engagement and the IHL and we have very high respect for human rights. Your Army will always help you and not threaten you as what the NPA does.” says LTC LENNON G BABILONIA INF (GSC) PA, Commanding Officer of the Army’s 8th Infantry Battalion.


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