Thursday, July 6, 2017

Army files illegal possession of firearms vs NPA 'terrorist'

From the Philippine News Agency (Jul 6): Army files illegal possession of firearms vs NPA 'terrorist'

The 79th Infantry Masaligan Battalion of the Philippine Army based in Negros Island has filed charges of illegal possession of firearms and ammunition against a suspected member of the New People’s Army (NPA).

In an interview Thursday afternoon, Lt. Col. Roderick Garcia, battalion commander of the 79th IB, identified the suspected Yunit Militia of the "Communist terrorist" group operating in northern Negros as Pedro Serguelis.

In the afternoon of July 3, Army troops were conducting operations in Barangay Trinidad in Guihulngan City when they chanced upon Serguelis.

Confiscated from Serguelis were one homemade caliber .357 revolver with 13 rounds of ammunition, one homemade shotgun with five ammunition and one pistol-grip homemade shotgun.

Serguelis was advised to report to the Guihulngan Police Station for proper disposition as the government troops were still in hot pursuit of other Communist terrorists and could not bring him down from the mountains at the time, said Garcia.

However, Serguelis never presented himself to the police, Garcia said, and the 79th IB filed a case against him.

Lt. Jec Manaoang, Civil Military Operations Officer of the 79th IB, said the Yunit Militia is an armed group of the Communist terrorists embedded in the barangays to collect food and money from the community through intimidation.

They also act as force multiplier, guide or source of information when the Communist terrorists conduct tactical offensives or terroristic activities like ambush, raid, arson and murder of civilians they believe are government informants, Manaoang added.

Last June 30, the 303rd Infantry Brigade of the 3rd Infantry Division of the Philippine Army encountered more or less 30 suspected NPA members at Sitio Agpapatao in Barangay Sandayao, Guihulngan City, said Lt. Manaoang.

Troopers from the 79th IB under the 303rd Brigade conducted pursuit operations that resulted in the recovery of one M14 rifle, ammunition, “subversive documents and war materials”.

Combat operations continue in Guihulngan City and nearby areas in response to clamor from the communities of activities “terrorizing” civilians, said the 79th IB commander.

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