MALAYBALAY CITY, Bukidnon – A high ranking Communist Party of the Philippines – New People’s Army terrorist (CNT) died in an encounter against government troops of 65th Infantry STALWART Battalion (65IB) in a forested area near Sitio Narvasa, Brgy. Pinilayan, Tagoloan II, Lanao del Sur, around 9:40 AM yesterday, Sunday, November 11, 2018.
The encounter took place along the boundary of Bukidnon and Lanao de Sur Provinces after government troops, who were conducting Focused Military Operations in the area, were fired upon by more or less 70 CNTs under Guerilla Front Committee 68. The firefight, which ensued for about 20 minutes, resulted to the death of a male terrorist identified as Alias Alan, CO of Platoon 2 from the abovementioned Guerilla Front Committee. Further, government troops seized one M16 rifle, one AK-47 rifle, six AK-47 magazines with live ammunitions, 14 backpacks, 27 sacks of rice, medical supplies, and subversive documents with high intelligence value.
“This yet another meaningless death of a NPA terrorist would not have occurred if only they heeded the government’s call for them to surrender and avail of the benefits of the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (ECLIP).” said Rabaca. Brigadier General Eric Vinoya, Commander of the 403rd Infantry Brigade that operationally controls the 65IB, lauded the troops for performing their task that contributed to the accomplishment of the Brigade’s mission. He also extended his sympathies to the family and relatives of the CNT leader who died.
“I commend the troops of the 65th Infantry Battalion for performing their task in securing the communities within our area of responsibility. However, we would also want to extend our condolences to the family and relatives of the NPA terrorist who died during the encounter. This could not have happened if he was not fed with lies and deceit that forced him to take up arms against the government by the leaders of this terrorist organization.” Vinoya said.
On the other hand, a 65IB troop (identity withheld) was slightly hurt when a bullet hit his hand during the firefight. Said personnel was already given proper medication and is in stable condition. “The troops that were engaged with the NPA terrorists are battle tested from Western Mindanao. Definitely, our troops will not stop until communities in our area will be freed from NPA terrorists’ harassment and intimidation. These NPAs only have 2 options, either they will stay with the terrorist group, continue believing in the failed armed struggle and die eventually during encounter with our troops or they will lay down their arms and be with their families, especially on Christmas.
The 4th Infantry Division will help surrenderees enroll in the ECLIP where they can be reintegrated back to the society and live a normal life away from chaos, hunger, and fear of dying in an encounter with our troops.” Major General Ronald Villanueva, Commander of Army’s 4th Infantry Division said.
Government troops of 65IB are still on pursuit operations.