A High-Ranking leader of the New People’s Army died in an encounter with the 65th Infantry Battalion (IB) in a forested area near Sitio Narvasa, Barangay Pinilayan, Tagoloan II, Lanao del Sur on Sunday around 9:40 a.m.
1Lt. Tere Ingente, the spokesperson of 4th Infantry Division, said the encounter took place in the boundary of Bukidnon and Lanao de Sur.
The troops conducting focused military operations in the area when attacked by more or less 70 members of the Guerrilla Front Committee 68.
The firefight, which lasted about 20 minutes, resulted in the death of alias Alan, commanding officer of the Platoon 2.
Further, government troops seized one M16 rifle, an AK-47 rifle, six AK-47 magazines with live ammunition, 14 backpacks, 27 sacks of rice, medical supplies, and subversive documents at the encounter site.
Brig. Gen. Eric Vinoya, commander of the 403rd Infantry Brigade, lauded the troops for the accomplishment. He also extended his sympathies to the family and relatives of the NPA leader who died.
"This could not have happened if he was not fed with lies and deceit that forced him to take up arms against the government by the leaders of this terrorist organization,” he added.
On the other hand, Ingente said a soldier was hit with a bullet on his hand but he's now in stable condition.
“The troops that were engaged with the NPA terrorists are battle-tested from Western Mindanao," Maj. Gen. Ronald Villanueva, the commander of 4th Infantry Division, said.
"Definitely, our troops will not stop until communities in our area will be freed from NPA terrorists’ harassment and intimidation," he added.
The division commander said the 4th Infantry Division will help surrenderees enroll in the Enhanced-Comprehensive Local Integration Program to help them reintegrate back into mainstream society.
For now, the government troops of the 65th IB are still in pursuit operation against the Communist rebels.