From the Philippine News Agency (Feb 21, 2019): 2 Reds killed in clash with gov't troops in Oriental Mindoro
CAMP GEN. CAPINPIN, Tanay, Rizal -- Two members of the New Peoples’ Army (NPA) were killed early Thursday morning during a gun battle with soldiers from the 4th Infantry Battalion (4IB) in Barangay Teresita, Mansalay, Oriental Mindoro.
Reports reaching the headquarters of the Philippine Army's 2nd Infantry “Jungle Fighter” Division (2ID) here said that military troops were scouring the area when they traced the enemy’s temporary hideout and engaged around 10 NPAs in a five-minute firefight.
The soldiers found the bodies of the two rebels following the clash. There were no casualties on the government side.
Col. Marceliano Teofilo, commander of the 203rd Brigade based in Mindoro who directly supervises the ongoing Focused Military Operation (FMO), said "the encounter was the result of the information received by our troops from a concerned civilian who reported the presence of an armed group’s extortion activities in their community".
Teofilo said the 10 communist terrorist rebels belong to the NPA’s Platoon Mike of Kilusang Larangan Guerilla Silangan, led by Peter Rivera alias "Rotche".
He said the soldiers also recovered one M16 rifle, two rifle grenades, three backpacks, bandoliers, medical paraphernalia, war materials, and other personal belongings.
Teofilo added that the enemy scampered to different directions, leaving behind their two slain comrades while dragging along the other wounded or dead members. Heavy blood stains were found along their escape routes.
Lt. Col Dennis Gutierrez, Battalion Commander of the 4IB, said the local police is now conducting pursuit operations.
"We also believe the encounter pre-empted the NPAs planned burning of the construction equipment nearby," he said.
Maj. Gen. Rhoderick M. Parayno, 2ID commander, lauded the latest accomplishments of the troops against the NPA terrorists in Mindoro.
"The NPAs in Mindoro are slowly being dissipated. Ang resulta ng patuloy nilang paglaban ay naging mitsa ng kanilang buhay. Ang ilan naman na sumusuko, ay dahan-dahan ng nakakabalik sa mapayapa, matahimik at makabuluhan na pamumuhay (Their continuing fight has resulted in their loss of lives. Those who have surrendered have eventually led peaceful, orderly and meaningful lives),” Parayno said.
He said government troops are continuing the pursuit operations and have beefed up checkpoints against the NPA terrorists.
“The choice really is up to the NPAs. But the communities are asking them to stop the violence against the people. They want peace and development, not violence and strife. Sana magising na ang mga NPA sa katotohanan (I hope the NPAs would soon wake up and realize their lost cause)," Parayno said.