TALACOGON, Agusan del Sur – Two (2) members of terrorist New People’s Army (NPA) were killed after an encounter between the troops of 26th Infantry (Ever Onward) Battalion in the hinterland of Barangay Mahagsay, San Luis Agusan del Sur, Tuesday afternoon, September 17.
The clash happened after the government troops discovered the NPA hideout in the uninhabited remote part of barangay Mahagsay with the help of concerned citizen who pinpointed the exact location and subsequently encountered more or less sixty (60) fully armed NPAs. The firefight lasted for about thirty (30) minutes, causing the enemies to scampered towards different directions. After which, two (2) bodies of killed NPA members (still unidentified), two (2) AK 47 rifles, one (1) M16 rifle with attached M203 grenade launcher and one (1) Anti-Personnel Mine were recovered by the government troops and the seizure of enemy hide out with fifty (50) makeshift bunkers.
Meanwhile, two (2) soldiers were slightly wounded during the firefight. One troop was grazed by enemy bullet on his left arm while the other one was on his right arm, and subsequently given necessary medical first aid.
It can be recalled that last September 15, 2019, a certain Juben Mantambungan, a Manobo and a resident of Barangay Baylo, San Luis, Agusan del Sur, was shot and killed by three (3) terrorist NPA at KM 27 Barangay Mahayahay San Luis Agusan del Sur. Due to the incident, the 26th IB alerted all its troops to take necessary actions to locate the main hideout of the terrorist NPA for the arrest of the perpetrators and also to give justice for the slain IP member. And with the help of the concerned local populace, who got angry for the killing of their fellow IP member, the troops were able to gather necessary information about the exact location of the perpetrators.
Based on intelligence reports, the communist terrorist NPA were merged members of Sandatahang Platoon Pampropaganda under Sub Regional Committee of North Central Mindanao Regional Committee (NCMRC) and Guerilla Front 88 NCMRC, all of CPP-NPA.
Also, prior to the encounter, the unit received numerous reports from the concerned citizens in the area that the NPA were seen roaming near the vicinity of Barangay Mahagsay and accordingly, extorting and collecting food from the farmers and small time businessman.
The Commanding Officer of 26th IB, Lt Col Romeo C Jimenea commended the efforts of the residents in the area for the timely and accurate information given to the unit. “It’s a clear manifestation that the people especially from far flung areas are already tired of the atrocities committed by this armed group that they will immediately report to us about their (NPA) presence in the community. And because of that we were be able to decisively engage them and stop their terroristic activities in the area”, he said.
Lt Col Jimenea also expressed his condolences to the bereaved family of killed NPA members. “We felt sad that despite of our numerous reminders and appeal to the remaining members of the NPA to lay down their arms and return to the fold of our government, still many of them choose to be deafened and blinded by the CPP-NPA propaganda”, he further said.
“There are still hope to all of you. Many of your former comrades had already returned and chose to live peacefully with their loved ones. Christmas is fast approaching, just think of your families and friends who are patiently waiting for your homecoming. The government are willing to assist you for starting anew through ECLIP”, Lt Col Jimenea ended.