CAMP ELIAS ANGELES, PILI, Camarines Sur (PIA) – A member of the New People's Army was killed Monday, Sept. 19, at Sta. Teresa, Baao, Camarines Sur after an 8-minute firefight with government troops.
In a press statement, Division Public Affairs Office (DPAO) Chief Major John Paul Belleza said the encounter happened around 10:15 in the evening.
49th Infantry Battalion Commander Lt. Col. Jerome Cabigon's team was in Baao conducting a security operation on the ongoing Retooled Community Support Program (RCSP) activity.
Upon verification of the tip-off from concerned residents, they went to the area. On the site were five armed members of the communist terrorist group (CTG).
Firefight ensued, leaving one communist terrorist dead. The still unidentified casualty was abandoned by his comrades as they scampered in various directions after they were outnumbered by responding soldiers.
Seized from the enemy were an M16 Bushmaster rifle, 84 pieces of ammunition for M16, three magazines for M16; one bandolier; three cellphones, one commercial radio, one stethoscope; and three bags containing personal belongings.
902nd Brigade Commander Col. Edmundo Peralta extended his gratitude to the members of the community for refusing to succumb to the CTG’s demands and for reaching out to the Army.
Joint Task Force Bicolandia and 9ID Commander Major General Alex Luna said that the community’s support is a significant factor in toppling down any attempt of the CTG to hide and escape from the rule of law.
"May isa na naman na nasawi na kababayan natin dahil sa patuloy na panlilinlang ng CTG. Hindi pa rin nila (CTG) mapagtanto na itinatakwil na sila ng taong bayan, na tuloy-tuloy na ang pangsusuplong sa kanila, na paliit na ng paliit ang kanilang ginagalawan ," MGen Luna said.
On two separate occasions in the first part of September, the 9ID Spear troopers were able to seize various firearms and ammunition from CTG.
On Sept.4, 2 CTG members returned to the folds of the law and surrendered their firearms. Government troopers were also able to recover high-caliber arms, ammunition, and explosives in Brgy. Calmayon, Juban, Sorsogon.
It was on Sept. 8 when they recovered three (3) M16 rifles, one KG9, 3 anti-personnel mines, ammunitions, and other communist propaganda materials in Brgy. Bulala, Magallanes, Sorsogon.
On Sept. 10, the 2nd Infantry Battalion headed by Lt. Col. Orlando Ramos Jr., Commanding Officer confirmed that they seized an M653 and one AR-15 assault rifle, one caliber .45, 21 cartridges for 5.56mm,18 cartridges for 9mm, two (2) short magazines for the M16 rifle, and one bandoleer from fleeing CTG members during an encounter in Barangay Magsaysay, Esperanza, Masbate.
MGen Luna stressed that these developments are manifestations of the community’s restlessness and antipathy to the wrongdoings of the CTG members. He called on once again the remaining lawless members to embrace the law, abandon the decade-long armed struggle and live peacefully with their families. (With reports from DPAO 9ID/ PIA5/Camarines Sur)