NPA camp falls in Batangas
CAMP GENERAL MATEO CAPINPIN, Tanay, Rizal — Government troops took over an encampment of New People’s Army (NPA) rebels following an encounter in Barangay Calumpit, Lobo, Batangas early Sunday.
In a report reaching the Army’s 2nd Infantry ‘Jungle Fighter” Division (2ID) camp here, Lt. Col. Jonathan S. Manio, Commanding Officer of the 1st Infantry Battalion (1IB), said their troops chanced upon the NPA encampment while conducting combat operations based on reports from concerned citizens on the presence of NPA members in the area who are collecting food and extorting money from residents.
At around 5:45 a.m., a 10-minute clash ensued between troops and around 20 armed rebels.
No one was hurt on the government side, while an undetermined number of casualties from the enemies were reported based on the traces of bloodstains at the encounter site.
The troops said the enemies brought along their wounded comrades while escaping.
The pursuing government troops then overran the enemy’s temporary encampment dotted with 30 makeshift tents and recovered cellular phones, backpacks, ammunition and magazines for .45-caliber pistol, subversive documents and three Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs).
Manio added that the NPA remnants were believed to be led by alias Salma/Mulan of Sub-Regional Military Area 4-C, Southern Tagalog Regional Party Committee operating in Batangas and Cavite.
“They were also the same group encountered by our soldiers in Sitio Coloconto, Barangy Bulsa in San Juan, Batangas on July 31 this year where an NPA member was killed,” Manio said.
After the clash, government troops retrieved firearms, improvised explosive devices and subversive documents from the enemies.
As part of his operational jurisdiction over the Calabarzon Region, Brig. Gen. Arnulfo Marcelo B. Burgos Jr. AFP, Commander of the 202nd Infantry (UNIFIER) Brigade, assessed that the 1IB troops has preempted the state enemies’ plans to sabotage government and business establishments in the area due to the recovered IEDs following Sunday morning’s clash.
He added that the insurgency in Batangas is now on the verge of collapse after this latest encounter and the NPAs’ numerous setbacks and casualties from the previous encounters with the government troops.
“And just recently, 13 of their former comrades surrendered to the government which indicates they no longer enjoy the support of the masses,” Burgos said.
Meanwhile, Maj. Gen. Rhoderick M. Parayno, 2nd Infantry Division (2ID) Commander, said “the government troops are in high spirits after information reports are voluntarily given by community residents.”
“We are encouraged by these developments. Our last five encounters are all coming from reports passed to us by barangay residents. They have realized that the NPAs are plain bandits nowadays,” he said.
As of this posting, authorities have intensified checkpoints while government troops continue their pursuit operations against the rebels.(PNA)
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