Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Army, PNP nab 2 NPA bandits in Bukidnon clash

From the Philippine Information Agency (Aug 8): Army, PNP nab 2 NPA bandits in Bukidnon clash

Two suspected New People’s Army (NPA) bandits were apprehended early Wednesday in an armed clash between the NPA and the combined troops of 1st Special Forces Battalion, 8th Infantry Battalion, and the Bukidnon Provincial Public Safety Company of the Philippine National Police (PNP).

The encounter occurred around 6:30 a.m, 02 August 2017, near Zone 8 of Kiburiao village in Quezon, Bukidnon after the government troops conducting security patrol received a tip from residents of the presence of more or less seven NPAs in the area.

The five-minute battle resulted to the apprehension of two NPA members after the troopers found them lurking in the grove of young trees within the encounter site.

The two NPAs were identified as Ruel Calolot, a known IED-making expert, and his younger brother Ramil Calolot.

Found in their possession were one 57mm recoilless rifle (rocket launcher), three laptops, electrical wires, a switch box, an ANAK PAWIS ID card owned by Ruel Calolot, and various subversive documents.

After a thorough search, the troops also uncovered 24 Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs); 51 rounds of caliber 30 ammunition; two .38 caliber revolvers; 200 meters detonating cord; 10 meters safety fuse; five blasting caps; and other IED paraphernalia in the encounter site where the two bandits were found in hiding.

The apprehending troopers immediately turned over the said bandits to PNP for filing of criminal charges, while the 403rd Infantry Brigade’s operating units continuously conduct focused military operations in order to secure communities and pre-empt threats feigned by NPAs.

No reported casualties on the government troops, while it is believed that the firefight wounded the bandits with the bloodstains found on their escape routes.

In a statement, Col. Eric C. Vinoya, 403rd Infantry (Peacemaker) Brigade Commander, 4ID, PA, emphasized Brigade’s commitment to continuously secure the communities against NPA threats.

He denounced the NPA's utmost disregard to the provisions of Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law and the NPA’s continued use of violence against the government and the peace-loving people of Bukidnon.

"The NPA's recent provocations and threats to continue with their violent attacks against government troops and civilians have only inspired our troops to work even harder in order to hit them before they could launch any atrocity. The 403rd Infantry Brigade is always committed to perform our mandate of serving the people and securing our communities, particularly in the provinces of Bukidnon, Misamis Oriental and Camiguin. We denounce the deceitful acts NPA rebels and all their cohorts for committing themselves to the peace process while continuously fueling their violent armed struggle. The recovery of these numerous Improvised Explosive Devices and other IED paraphernalia are but a semblance of their insincerity and disrespect to the provisions of Human Rights and the International Humanitarian Law. These IEDs would have put the lives of not only soldiers but also innocent civilians in grave jeopardy. Most importantly, they prepared for war and violence while we talked about peace," Col. Vinoya said. (Norman M. Tagros, CMO, 403rd Infantry Peacemaker Brigade, 4ID, PA)

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