Camp Capinpin, TANAY, RIZAL- Combined Army and PNP forces conducting strike operations preempted another NPA arson attempt in Quezon Province after they encountered undetermined number of communist terrorists belonging to Platoon 1 of SRMA-4A at Sito Salok, Brgy Magsaysay of Infanta town at around 8:07 a.m. Friday.
Initial reports indicate that four government security forces were wounded while massive losses are expected on the enemy side based on the heavy bloodstains along their withdrawal route after the 30-minute firefight. Brigadier General Arnulfo Marcelo Burgos Jr, Commander of the 202nd Infantry (UNIFIER) Brigade which has operational jurisdiction over the area, said that the encounter site was about 3 kilometers away from the area of Northern Builders, the contractor of Kaliwa Dam project whose equipment were burned by the NPA terrorists last February 7.
He added that the “the encounter is a result of our continuing operations to punish the enemies of the state who are terrorizing helpless private companies who refuse to give in to their extortion demands.” He ended his statement by reaffirming the soldiers’ “unwavering commitment to protect the numerous projects in the brigade’s area of operations since it will pave the way for prosperity and development which our people will enjoy.”
Kaliwa Dam is one of the 76 ongoing flagship and developmental projects in CALABARZON. Lt Col Christopher Diaz, Commander of 80th Infantry Battalion, said 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 Infanta specifically the burning of construction equipment belonging to Northern Builders.”
He added that the wounded soldiers have been evacuated and are being given the best possible medical attention 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 this group is part of the NPA unit which they encountered in Luisiana, Laguna in February 14 wherein John Carlo Alberto alias Damian/Iñigo, a student of UPLB, was killed after he was recruited and deceived by the communist terrorists to join their armed group as a fighter.
Major General Rhoderick Parayno, Commander of the Philippine Army’s 2nd Infantry Division, expressed his gratitude to the people of Infanta for voluntarily providing information to the security forces saying that “this is not only a testament of their trust to their soldiers but a manifestation that they are already tired of the NPAs’ anti-people
and anti-development terroristic actions.”
He said that such claim is supported by the fact that “the local officials of Real and Infanta expressed their intentions to declare the NPA terrorists as persona non grata” in their respective towns. MGen Parayno lauded his soldiers for their “readiness to respond to our people’s plight and their willingness to sacrifice their lives and limbs for the greater good of the very people whom we have sworn to serve” while reiterating his call to the few remaining NPAs in Region 4A “to choose their families over their comrades, to choose peace over
conflict and to choose to be productive members of the society over being extortionists who terrorize their fellow Filipinos.”
The names of the wounded soldiers are being withheld pending notification of next of kin.