CAMP SANG-AN, ZDS- A ranking Communist NPA couple, where husband was wounded, were rescued by Army’s 97th Infantry Battalion after an armed clash at So Kasong, Barangay Tinuyop, Leon B Postigo, Zamboanga del Norte Thursday morning, August 6, 2020.
The wounded NPA personalities were identified as alias Peewee, the commander of HQ KALAW and his wife alias Ritchie, who was also the Regional Medical Staff, of the Western Mindanao Regional Party Committee (WMRPC) who were abandoned by there comrades after the 15-minute firefight.
“A concerned civilian reported to our troops that the couple are signifying to voluntarily surrender when they were left behind by their fleeing comrades after the encounter”, Lt. Col. Manaros M Boransing, Commanding Officer, 97th IB said on his statement.
“They were badly wounded during the clash that transpired around 8:00 in the morning. Troops provided them medical first aid and brought them to our camp and eventually transferred them to 1st Infantry Division Station Hospital for further medical attention,” Lt. Col. Boransing added.
It can also be recalled that on Wednesday, alias Jekjek, was also rescued by the 97IB after the clash in Brgy Midatag of same town.
In local dialect, Peewee admitted that they were with alias Jekjek on the Wednesday’s encounter.
“We were disorganized, that is why we left Jekjek behind”, said alias Peewee.
“We were also tired and hungry evading the troops. The successive encounter and my lingering shoulder injury led me to surrender”, added Peewee.
Brigadier General Leonel M. Nicolas, the Commander of the Army’s 102nd Infantry IGSOON Brigade, who has operational jurisdiction of Zamboanga del Norte emphasized that the troops will continue to pursue all Communist Terrorist Groups (CTGs) operating in the region.
“The NPAs in Zamboanga Peninsula will now have a leadership crisis after this incident and we will pressure and continously encourage them to surrender” Brig. Gen. Nicolas said.
“The 102nd Infantry Brigade together with our partner stakeholders through the Executive Order No 70 or the Local Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict are commited in our efforts to achieve peace in the region,” Brig. Gen. Nicolas added.
Maj. Gen. Gene Ponio, Commander, 1st Infantry Division emphasized that the doors of the government is always open for those who still wish to avail the benefits of the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP).
“I urged the remnants of the group, the wounded, the hungry members of the WMRPC to lay down their arms and return to the folds of law,” Maj. Gen. Ponio said.
“We assure you (NPA) that the Tabak troopers abide with the rules of engagement and respect the rights of the adversaries”, added Maj. Gen. Ponio.
The rescued CNTs underwent intensive medical check-up and treatment at Tabak Station Hospital as of this posting.