Thursday, February 21, 2019

Fleeing NPA terrorist killed in gun battle, army steps up pursuit

From the Philippine Information Agency (Feb 21, 2019): Fleeing NPA terrorist killed in gun battle, army steps up pursuit

Drizzle and overcast skies can’t stop Green Valley residents from gathering at the village square to carry placards and posters showing support to President Rodrigo Duterte’s call to end terrorism. The villagers display on placards the Communist-NPA terrorists’ brutality. They condemn NPA’s extortion activities and the attack at a poultry farm zone in Green Valley, Dalwangan, Malaybalay City last February 14. (Ruby Leonora R. Balistoy, PIA Bukidnon)

MALAYBALAY CITY, Bukidnon -- A New People’s Army (NPA) terrorist was killed Monday as the Philippine Army steps up operations to hunt down the fleeing rebels.

The pursuing troops of 1st Special Forces Battalion (1st SFBn) encountered the terrorists at 1 p.m on Feb. 18 in Lantapan, Bukidnon, killing one of the NPA combatants.

During firefight, the terrorists scampered leaving their dead comrade in the combat zone situated near the NPA hideout where troops found three sacks of rice.

The soldiers also recovered one M653 high-powered rifle.

Col. Edgardo De Leon, 403rd Brigade Commander said the Special Forces tracked the NPA’s location after civilians warned military on the communist insurgent’s presence in their village.

“This is a clear manifestation that they [terrorists] are unwanted or ‘persona non grata’ to IP communities and farmers in the area,” he said.

This was about two days after the army’s Northeastern and Northern Mindanao Fourth Infantry Division (4ID) ordered a hot pursuit operation against the Communist-NPA terrorists who attacked the 1st SFBn defense force tasked to build a Patrol Base at a poultry farm zone in Green Valley sub-village, Dalwangan, Malaybalay City. The attack occurred last February 14 around 9:40 in the evening, killing four rebels and two soldiers.

It can be recalled that on February 16, barely two days after the NPA attacked Sitio Green Valley, the residents gathered at the village square carrying placards and posters announcing the NPA’s brutality. The villagers vowed to reject NPAs who will again set foot in their village and volunteered in helping soldiers to fast-track the Patrol Base construction.

Fourth Infantry (Diamond) Division commanding general Brig. Gen. Franco Nemesio M. Gacal ordered the 403rd Infantry (Peacemaker) Brigade based in Bukidnon province, to secure the villagers who have been continuously given security assistance by 1st SFBn Community Support Program in Malaybalay City and neighboring fields.

"We will defend our people and communities from these terrorists at all cost. That is our mandate," BGen Gacal said. (Capt. Ryan D. Layug, CMO Officer, 403rd Inf Bde, 4ID, PA/RLRB, PIA Bukidnon)

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