CAMP EVANGELISTA, Cagayan de Oro City –troops from the 4th Infantry (Diamond) Division has scored anew against the CPP-NPA Terrorists (CNTs) in an encounter that left one (1) CNT dead and five of its (5) high-powered firearms seized.
The encounter involving the 1st Special Forces Bn led by LtCol Vercisio G San Jose, under the operational control of the 403rd Infantry Brigade led by BGen Ferdinand T Barandon and an estimated fifty (50) fully armed CNTs operating in Bukidnon and Lanao del Sur boundary, happened in Brgy Ranao Ibaning, Amai Manabilang, Lanao Del Sur on Saturday, 6:30AM, January 8.
The 3-hour firefight resulted in the recovery of one (1) Cal 7.62mm General Purpose Machine Gun, one (1) Cal 5.56mm M4 rifle, one (1) Cal 5.56mm M16 rifle, one (1) Cal 7.62mm M14 rifle, and one (1) Cal .30 M1 Garand rifle.
“Thru our no let-up policy, we have been tracking down these CPP-NPA terrorists as they crossed over to Lanao del Sur province.” BGen Barandon said.
It can be recalled that CNTs in Bukidnon had suffered devastating losses in a series of encounters last year that led to the neutralization of several CNT leaders and members including Ka Oris, Mindanao’s top NPA Commander.
Since January 2021, 4ID had neutralized 162 CNTs thru capture or killed during encounters, 351 CNTs voluntarily surrendered, and 1666 members have rejected the terrorist CP-NPA-NDF and renewed their allegiance to the government. Also, a total of 448 firearms were seized through encounters, surrenders, and the discovery of an arms cache.
In a statement, 4ID Acting Commander Brigadier General Oliver T Vesliño said that the CNTs in 4ID AOR is incurring irreversible losses following the neutralization of its key leaders. Again, he reiterated his call for the remaining CNTs to instead embrace peace and start life anew by availing of the government’s E-CLIP program.