CAMP EVANGELISTA, PATAG, CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – Two members of the New Peoples Army of the NPA were killed during an encounter in Sitio Kimutya, Brgy San Rafael, Talakag, Bukidnon on March 20, 2021, 9:35 A.M.
LTC Vercisio G San Jose Jr, Commanding Officer of the 1st Special Forces Battalion under 403rd Brigade of the 4th Infantry Division, said the clash happened while the troops were conducting security operations due to reported extortion activities of the armed rebels in the area.
The firefight lasted for about four hours against more or less 70 armed elements of Guerilla Front 68B and Sub-Regional Sentro De Grabidad (SRSDG) WEI of Sub-Regional Committee (SRC) 4 and SRSDG CRACKERS of SRC5 under the North Central Mindanao Regional Committee of the New People’s Army.
Aside from the two killed NPA members, the troops also captured five high-powered firearms composed of four M16 riles and one AK47 rifle, landmines, and other war materials.
“We are gaining the trust and confidence of the people, which is a great development because maintaining peace and order in the community is a shared responsibility,” LTC San Jose said.
One soldier died, while two others were wounded during the encounter.
MGen Andres C Centino, 4th Infantry Division Commander, honored the brave soldier’s sacrifice to defend the people and secure the communities at the cost of his life. “While one of our soldiers paid the ultimate sacrifice, it will not stop us from doing our job, but instead it inspires us to continue fighting the enemies of the state to keep our people safe in their homes and until we end the local communist armed conflict in Northern Mindanao and Caraga regions,” he said.
He further called upon the remaining CTG members to yield to the government or face the long arms of justice. “To the remaining members of the CTG, you only have two options, heed the government’s call for peace by surrendering or face adverse consequences as we continue to hunt you down; the choice is yours,” MGen Centino added.
The NPA cadavers were turned over to the barangay captain of San Rafael for proper disposition.
Pursuit operation is still ongoing to capture the remaining rebels who escaped after the encounter.