DEL PILAR, Cabadbaran City, April 20 – Three suspected Communist NPA Terrorists (CNTs) were captured, one was killed, one nine-year-old boy was rescued, and three high powered firearms and other war materials were recovered by the troops of the 29th Infantry “Matatag” Battalion in three successive encounters in the uninhabited area of Brgy. Bangayan, Kicharao, Agusan del Norte on April 20, 2020.
The troops were conducting combat operations in the area when they encountered more or less 20 CNTs who are believed to be members of Sandatahang Yunit Pampropaganda (SYP) 16A, Guerilla Front Committee (GFC) 16 of the North Eastern Mindanao Regional Command (NEMRC) under alias @GAB. The firefight lasted for about five minutes, which resulted in the capture of three 3 suspected CNTs, the rescue of a nine-year-old boy and the discovery of a newly abandoned temporary enemy hideout that can accommodate more or less 20 persons.
After which, the troops continued its pursuit operations and encountered more or less five CNTs in a firefight that lasted for about 20 minutes. The rest of the New People’s Army (NPA) members scampered towards the northerly direction leaving behind their dead member believed to be a high ranking personality, one M4 rifle with M203, one battery of Harris handheld radio, one cellphone, one Improvised Explosive Device (IED) kit and one backpack containing subversive documents with high intelligence value.
Later in the afternoon in another encounter lasting about 15 minutes, the troops recovered one AK47 rifle and one AK47 magazine loaded with 20 rounds of serviceable ammunition. After this, the enemy withdrew towards a southerly direction.
There were no casualties from the government side while the CNTs suffered casualties as indicated by heavy bloodstains which were seen at the encounter site and along their route of withdrawal.
Lt.Col. Isagani O. Criste, Commanding Officer of 29IB said, “The NPA terrorists have shattered the aspirations of many youths, destroyed many families and killed numerous innocent people. Given this, it should have been easy for us to take vengeance into our hands, but that is not what we want. We are grieved every time there is an encounter. Because we do not delight in bloodshed. We fight only because our duty has mandated us to serve and protect the people and secure the land even if it comes at the cost of sacrificing our own lives.”
“I reiterate my call to all who are still in the mountains. Lay down your weapons of war and surrender now. The government is ready to assist you in your desire to change for the better. We will help you, just surrender peacefully,” Criste assured.
The captured and rescued personalities have already been turned over to the proper authority for further investigation while the identity of the slain NPA is currently being withheld pending further confirmation and validation. His body will later be turned over to his family.
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