Thursday, July 4, 2013

AFP: Civilians played big role in military win vs rebels in Sorsogon

From the Philippine News Agency (Jul 4): AFP: Civilians played big role in military win vs rebels in Sorsogon

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) on Thursday gave credit to the civilians for the successful operation in Barangay Upper Calmayon, Juban, Sorsogon where eight New People's Army (NPA) rebels were killed following an encounter Thursday morning.

"The cooperation of the civilians who are fed up with the continued atrocities by the NPA played a big part in the successful security operation against the armed rebels, this morning in Sorsogon," AFP public affairs office chief Lt. Col. Ramon Zagala said.

He added that tips concerning the whereabouts of the rebel band was the main reason for the operation's success.

"Upon verification of the reported presence and extortion activities of the group, elements of the Army’s 31st Infantry Battalion under Lt. Col. Beerjenson Aquino were sent to Barangay Upper Calmayon, Juban, Sorsogon where they encountered about 20 members of the NPAs," Zagala stressed.

A firefight ensued for 35 minutes and resulted to eight fatalities from the NPA’s side including two females.

Government troopers also recovered five M-16 automatic rifles and one improvised explosive device after the incident.

"The precise military operations successfully prevented damages to civilians and their properties near the area," the AFP public affairs chief said.

Other NPAs who fled after the clash are now being pursued by the responding troop with assistance from deployed K9 units while other members are conducting clearing operations in the area.

A helicopter from the Tactical Operations Group (TOG)-4 in Lucena City was likewise sent to Headquarters, TOG-5 in Legazpi, Albay to support the ongoing pursuit operations.

“The AFP on the other hand is grateful to the civilians who reported the presence and illegal activities of the NPAs. With this, the leadership calls on our people to continue reporting to government authorities the presence of these armed groups to prevent and put a stop to their hostilities and crimes against civilians," Zagala stressed.

"Rest assured, that the AFP will continue to conduct its focused-military operations against all threat groups while pursuing just and lasting peace and development for our country," he concluded.

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