Monday, April 8, 2013

Army foils attempt to destroy DOLE plantation, one killed

From the Philippine News Agency (Apr 8): Army foils attempt to destroy DOLE plantation, one killed

CAMP EVANGELISTA, Cagayan de Oro City -- Government troopers killed a suspect in a 20-minute fierce firefight with about 30 armed groups near the army’s 36th Infantry Battalion in Tago, Surigao del Sur Sunday morning.

Lt. Col. Eugenio Julio Osias, IV, spokesperson of the army’s 4th Infantry Division here, said on Monday that an unidentified member of the armed groups, believed to be New People’s Army (NPA) rebels, was killed in the firefight.

Initial investigation disclosed that the members of the army’s 36th IB were conducting security patrol past 1:00 a.m. Sunday near its headquarters at Barangay Dayo-an in Tago, Surigao del Sur, when they encountered the armed groups.

Osias said that the suspected NPA rebels, also armed with “jungle bolos,” were on their way to cut and sabotage the banana plantation of DOLE company in the area when they encountered the government troopers.

“The rebels were surprised of the presence of the government troopers who were conducting a security patrol of the area at that time,” Osias said.

He said the armed groups withdrew after a 20-minute firefight leaving their an unidentified comrade who was killed in the ensuing gun battle.

Osias said the army turned over the rebel’s body to members of the police Scene of the Crime Operatives (SOCO) who arrived on the scene to collect evidences of the armed encounter.

Recovered from the scene was one AK 47 rifle beside the body of the suspected NPA rebel. No soldier was killed or hurt in the incident, Osias added.

The military has adopted security plans to secure companies with stakes in Mindanao after the NPA rebels made a daring attack on the Del Monte Philippines, Inc. main camp in Manolo Fortich and the DOLE plantation in Impasug-ong, all of Bukidnon in February this year.

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