Army captures NPA in Batangas, preempts Labor Day atrocity

Camp Cainpin, Tanay, Rizal – One female NPA fighter was captured and many other terrorists are believed to have died after an encounter against joint elements of soldiers and intelligence operatives at Sitio Maquitib, Brgy Quipot, San Juan, Batangas at around 6:30 a.m. Monday.

Brigadier General Arnulfo Marcelo B Burgos Jr, Commander of the 202nd Infantry (UNIFIER) Brigade which has operational jurisdiction over the area, said that the encounter preempted an atrocity in Region 4A which the NPAs are planning to conduct on May 1.

He added that the “encounter shows that your soldiers are on top of the security situation in CALABARZON and that we are always one step ahead of the enemies-of-the-state”. He ended his statement by reaffirming the soldiers’ “unwavering commitment to serve the people and secure this part of our land from the communist terrorists so that our countrymen may continue to enjoy the fruits of peace, prosperity and development” in this part of the country.

Initial reports indicate that a soldier was wounded after the 20-minute firefight wherein the government recovered one M653 rifle, one Caliber .45 pistol, IED, assorted ammunition and other war materiel as well as voluminous enemy documents with high intelligence value.

Lt Col Jonathan Manio, Commander of 1st Infantry Battalion, emphasized that the military operation was intelligence-driven and a calibrated response to an information given by a reliable source that “a group of NPAs will conduct atrocity in Batangas as part of the left’s nationwide coordinated anti-government actions” to commemorate Labor Day.

He added that the wounded soldier has been evacuated and is now listed as stable while “additional forces have been deployed to pursue the fleeing terrorists who have been on the run trying to escape the long arms of the law.”

The military believes that the captured female NPA member is the wife of @ Jethro, the leader of the NPA remnants in Batangas. She will undergo custodial debriefing while appropriate charges are being prepared to be filed in court.

Major General Rhoderick Parayno, Commander of the Philippine Army’s 2nd Infantry Division, lauded his troops for their unwavering commitment and respect for human rights, including those of the NPA’s. According to him, “the fact that the female NPA member was unharmed is a clear manifestation of your soldiers’ professionalism and adherence to internationally accepted conventions as well as rules of engagements.”

Eleven NPAs surrendered and took their oath of allegiance to the government during a ceremony at Cavinti, Laguna on April 24. It was the highlight of an activity which was attended by 23 Tribal Chieftains who witnessed the awarding of E-CLIP grants to 20 former rebels who surrendered to the military early this year.