CAMP MELCHOR F DELA CRUZ, Upi, Gamu, Isabela- Troops of the 17th Infantry Battalion encountered Communist NPA Terrorists (CNTs) in a firefight in Sitio Ligay, Barangay Masi, Rizal, Cagayan on November 25, 2021.
The residents of the said place reported the presence of the CNTs to the military troops. 17IB troopers immediately acted on the report and conducted Military Operations. While verifying the said information, they were fired upon by more or less 15 members of the Komiteng Probinsya (KOMPROB) Cagayan, Komiteng Rehiyon-Cagayan Valley (KR-CV) under a certain alias Sarol. The encounter lasted for about 20 minutes wherein the members of the CTG immediately escaped the encounter site leaving one AK47 and one handguard of M16 rifle.
Vice Mayor Joel Ruma of Rizal, Cagayan conveyed the message of Mayor Brenda Ruma regarding the said armed encounter between the government forces and the enemy of the state. He said that the Local Government Unit of Rizal is giving their full support in the campaign against insurgency to achieve a peaceful and progressive Rizal, especially in Zinundungan Valley. “Kagustuhan natin na mawala na ang NPA sa Zinundungan Valley. We are one with our National Government in its campaign to end local communist armed conflict. Nariyan ang tunay na gobyerno na nangangalaga sa taong bayan at nakikita ito ng mga residente ng Zinundungan. Ikinalulugod natin ang pangyayaring ito upang tuluyan ng maitaboy ang mga teroristang NPA mula sa lugar. Patuloy ang pagliit ng kanilang pwersa pati narin ang lugar na kanilang ginagalawan dahil narin sa kooperasyon ng taumbayan.”
BGen Steve D Crespillo, Brigade Commander of 501st Infantry Brigade warned the remaining members of the KOMPROB Cagayan who are still doing atrocities against the people. “As I have repeatedly expressed our willingness to receive and help surrenderers from the NPA units of KOMPROB CAGAYAN, our military operations to track those who will not heed to our call will definitely continue.”
While MGen Laurence E Mina, Commander of 5th Infantry Division, Philippine Army thanked the locals for their support and cooperation together with the local government of Rizal, Cagayan. “The support of the people proves to be the most important factor in our campaign against insurgency. The Command is also grateful to the LGU of Rizal, Cagayan for their continued effort to shield their people against the terrorist NPAs. In the same manner, we commit to perform our mandate to protect our people against the atrocities and abuses of the CNTs.”
“In spite of the recent armed encounter, we are still waiting for the remaining members of the CNTs to return to the folds of the law. It is our wish to see you live peacefully with your families,” the general concluded.