Bancasi, Butuan City – Government troops clashed anew with CPP-NPA Terrorist (CNTs) at the outskirts of Sitio Mandalayag, Brgy Pianing, Butuan City on September 13, 2019 around 7:45 in the morning which resulted to the killing of one (1) NPA and the seizure of war materials.

Troops under the 402nd Infantry (Stingers) Brigade composed of students of the Combat Optical Gun Sight Marksmanship Training clashed against an undetermined number of CNTs believed to be members of Guerilla Front 21C of the North Eastern Mindanao Regional Committee (NEMRC) under an unknown leader while the troops were conducting operational testing of their acquired skills and preempt CNTs planned conduct of Tactical Offensives (TOs) and atrocities towards innocent civilians and government troops at Sitio Mandalayag, Brgy Pianing, Butuan City . Firefight lasted for about ten (10) minutes after the enemies scampered towards different directions to run for their lives.

Upon clearing and thorough search of the area, the troops were able to recover one (1) dead NPA and seized war materials including one (1) M16A1 Rifle (Defaced Serial Number); One (1) Anti-personnel mine; and Fifteen (15) meters electrical wire. Meanwhile, the cadaver of the killed CNT member was brought down and appropriately turned over to the barangay local government unit and the nearest PNP station for proper disposition.

Since the start of this month, the said CNTs are on the run after the 402nd Brigade launched series of combat operations upon receipt of reliable information from the residents on the presence of fully armed men in the area believed to be CNT members which they have already declared as Persona Non Grata.

Troops on the ground have tirelessly followed CNTs’ tracks. They almost caught up with them on September 11, 2019 around 2 o’clock in the afternoon when the same troops discovered a CNT hideout at Sitio Mandalayag, Barangay Pianing, Butuan City with a dimension of 30 x 70 meters. It can accommodate more or less twenty (20) CNTs and believed to be abandoned a day prior to its discovery. “The discovery of the camp is a significant development of our operation and a strong
indication of the presence of enemy in the area. Hence, I ordered the troops to push further and pursue CNTs tracks”, Col Maurito L Licudine, 402nd Brigade Commander said.

Col Licudine emphasized further that the CNTs has no other option but to surrender as they will not stop in pursuing them. He hoped that they will heed the government’s call for reconciliation by availing the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (CLIP) in order to go back to mainstream society and return to their families.

“According to the operating troops, they were able to catch up with the CNTs after cautiously following their tracks. The encounter was another victory for the peace loving people of Butuan City and Caraganons as a whole. CNTs who always instill threat and terror to communities was met with their own violence resulting to an untimely and unfortunate demise. Said violence could have been avoided if these CNTs chose the path of peace rather than kill soldiers, CAFGUs and policemen; sabotage development; and prey on the weaknesses and vulnerabilities of innocent civilians”, Col Licudine added.

Since, January 2019, the 402nd Infantry Brigade recorded a total of sixty-five (65) encounters against the CPP-NPA Terrorist resulting to the seizure and recovery offorty – one (41) High Powered Fire Arms, nine (9) Low Powered Fire Arms and nineteen (19) CNTs killed which significantly contributed to the whole peace and development efforts in ending local communist armed conflict in Caraga region.