CAMP GEN. CAPINPIN, Tanay, Rizal –Troops of the 21st Division Reconnaissance Company (DRC) clashed against the New People’s Army (NPA) terrorists group in the boundaries of Barangays Villa Nacaob and Binahian C both of Lopez, Quezon on June 11, 2019 at 3:30 P.M.
Lieutenant Colonel Arnold Gasalatan, Commanding Officer of the 85IB said that the soldiers were conducting Focus Military Operation (FMO) in the area after receiving tip from the civilians that a group of armed NPAs were extorting rice and money from the residents of the barangay.
While searching the area, the troops met more or less five (5) NPAs believed to be members of Platoon Sol of Sub-Regional Military Area (SRMA) 4B, and after which fire fight broke.
The exchange of gun fires lasted for ten (10) minutes. No one was hurt on the government side while there was undetermined number of casualties on the NPAs due to the heavy blood stains in their position. The enemies brought along their wounded comrades when they scampered away according to the troops.
Colonel Norwyn Romeo Tolentino, Commander of the 201st Brigade who has operational jurisdiction over Quezon province commends the troops for their immediate response to prevent the NPA extortion activities. He asked the remaining members of the terrorist group to surrender and cooperate with the government. “We will be relentless on our combat operations to protect the people against all NPA threats, coercion, extortions and killing of innocent civilians”.
Brigadier General Elias H Escarcha AFP, Acting Commander of the Philippine Army’s 2nd Infantry Division, lauded his troops’ commitment and dedication to their duty as vanguard of the national government’s southern frontier.
He called on them “to be unrelenting and to remain steadfast in our pursuit for just and lasting peace and development by eradicating those who are anti-peace and anti-development” saying that they owe it to the Filipino people to finally put an end to the 50-year insurgency in the country.
He ended his statement reiterating “As we commemorate today our 121 years of Independence, let us stand strong and defend our sovereignty and future. Our pledge binds us to remain vigilant and protect our people from any form of threats”.
At present, troops are conducting hot pursuit operations and checkpoints together with the local police against the NPA terrorists in the area.