NSFA, Panacan, Davao City – Team Eastern Mindanao Command (EastMinCom) under the leadership of Commander Lieutenant General Greg T Almerol has put the New People’s Army (NPA) at a disadvantaged in the recent skirmishes in Talakag and Valencia City on September 9 and 10, respectively, which resulted to the death of a rebel, arrest of four more including two minor combatants.
EastMinCom’s 88th Infantry Battalion (88th IB) figured in a series of clashes against 10 armed NPA rebels belonging to Platoon Bagsik, Guerrilla Front Malayag, Sub-Regional Committee-2, North Central Mindanao Regional Committee (NCMRC) headed by alias DR following a tip from concerned citizens which prompted the troops to track down their hide-outs at deserted area of Purok 10, Sitio Narulang, Barangay Laligan Valencia City on September 10, 2021.
The firefight lasted for around 30 minutes which resulted in the arrest of two NPA members identified as Romeo Campilan alias June and Angelyn Naingue alias Inday and rescue of two minor combatants identified as alias RK, 15, and Jason, 17. Troops also seized their firearms composed of three (3) M16 Rifles and three (3) AR15 Rifles.
Meanwhile, the 1st Special Forces Battalion (1SFBn) successfully prevented the NPA’s plan to destroy the equipment of 524th Engineering Brigade in the construction of a road project in Barangay Baylanan, Talakag, Bukidnon on September 9, 2021.
The 1SFBn encountered around 20 members of Guerilla Front 68B of the Sub-Regional Committee 4 of the NCMRC at Sitio Piglacogan, Barangay Tikalaan, Talakag, Bukidnon which led to the death of 1 rebel and the seizure of an M16 Rifle, a 9MM Barrette, and two (2) rifle grenades.
Lieutenant General Almerol said that these clashes send a strong statement that the people are already fed up of the NPA’s continued atrocities in their communities, therefore making them more participative in the military’s campaign to end the communist insurgency by reporting suspicious men and activities.
The EastMinCom Commander also said that the parents’ drive to protect their children from the NPA’s recruitment schemes and deceptive tactics make them more eager to participate especially that it is now made known to the public that the NPA is desperate enough to recruit children to become combatants.
The troops’ recent rescue of combatant minors only shows the NPA’s desperate recruitment of innocent children to the armed struggle. They have no regard for the lives of minors and is a clear violation of the International Humanitarian Law.
Moreover, Lieutenant General Almerol said that the NPA’s atrocious acts only prove that it is anti-family and development because it continues to recruit minors and destroy government developmental projects.
In a statement, Lieutenant General Almerol said, “I enjoin the remaining NPA members and leaders to embrace the government’s sincere offer to help them start a new life through the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (ECLIP). We do not want anymore bloodshed and through ECLIP, we can help you to live a better life.”
Lieutenant General Almerol stressed that Team EastMinCom will not stop until the communist insurgency comes to an end and intents to finish the job by 2022 before the end President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s term.