Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Rebel killed, scores of other NPAs wounded in Agusan battle with AFP

From the Manila Bulletin (Mar 28): Rebel killed, scores of other NPAs wounded in Agusan battle with AFP

Butuan City – A New People’s Army (NPA) rebel was killed while an undetermined number of his comrades were believed wounded after they engaged government troops who were hunting them down Sunday in the hinterland area of Barangay Bangonay, in Jabonga town, Agusan del Norte, Capt. Joe Patrick A. Martinez, regional spokesman of the Army’s 4th Infantry (Diamond) Division (4th ID) yesterday said.

The body of a still unidentified insurgent was recovered after the 15-minute encounter and has been turned over to local officials and the Philippine National Police (PNP) for identification and proper burial.

He said the gun battle started at 3:30 p.m. with the government troops recovering a fully loaded AK47 rifle.

Martinez said the operating troops of the 29th Infantry Battallion under Lt. Col. Ariel Orio were tracking down the same NPA group they encountered a few days ago in the outskirts of Jabonga and Kitcharao towns of Agusan del Norte.
The rebels were members of the CPP-NPA Northeastern Mindanao Regional Committee, he said.

According to him, the insurgents fled to nearby Mount Ilong-Ilong after the skirmish.
No one was reported hurt on the government side during the gun battle.

Martinez said there have already been 20 armed engagements with the rebels since last month that resulted in the killing of three insurgents, and the recovery of an M14 and six AK47 rifles, four landmines, four handheld radios, 17 rounds of 60mm and five rounds of 81mm mortars, and subversive documents with high intelligence value.

Maj. General Benjamin R. Madrigal Jr., commanding general of the AFP’s Northeastern and Northern Mindanao 4th ID yesterday lauded the troops who have been very successful in tracking down the NPA remnants’ location.

“I congratulate our gallant soldiers who fought bravely and are fully motivated in accomplishing their mission, he said adding “I also thank the concerned civilians who are giving timely and relevant information about the NPA’s location and activities.”

“However, we are saddened about the death of these three Filipinos. They could have been alive by now, living peacefully with their family, if only George Madlos and Myrna Sularte (NPA leaders in Caraga region) and their cohorts did not deceive them to join this non-sense armed struggle,” he said.

“We urge the remaining NPA in this area to finally come to a decision to reflect, think for the future of their family, and go back to mainstream society. This is the only way we could start building everyone’s dream that is to have a peaceful community that is conducive for development.” Madrigal added.


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