NPA rebel killed as soldiers attack Daraga hideout
By Connie Calipay / Philippine News Agency
LEGAZPI CITY – A New People's Army (NPA) guerrilla was killed while high-powered firearms and anti-personnel mines were seized when government forces engaged the rebels in a firefight in Daraga, Albay on Friday.
Capt. John Paul Belleza, 9th Infantry Division Public Affairs Office chief, said the encounter stemmed from the report of a concerned citizen who spotted an undetermined number of terrorists trying to recruit new members, including minors, in Barangay Canarom.
Combined elements from the 31st Infantry Battalion (31IB), 93rd Division Reconnaissance Company under the operational control of the 903rd Infantry Brigade, 2nd Albay Provincial Mobile Force Company, and Albay Police Provincial Office of the Police Regional Office 5 (PRO5) immediately conducted security operations and encountered at least 10 communist terrorist group (CTG) rebels, the report said.
After the gunfight, government troops overran the enemies' hideout, causing the rebels to scamper to different directions and leave their dead colleague behind.
Seized from the encounter site were two M16 rifles, three anti-personnel mines, two Molotov bombs, M16 magazines and ammunitions, 14-meter wire, bandolier, two laptops, five mobile phones, personal belongings, and terroristic propaganda materials.
Lt. Col. Eric Culvera, commander of the 31IB, ordered his troops to continue scouring the area as rebels may have forcibly took shelter in civilians’ residences.
“To the people of Daraga, your soldiers are there to ensure your safety. We will not allow these terrorists to bother you," Culvera said in a statement.
Brig. Gen. Jonnel Estomo, Regional Director of PRO5, assured the police is one with the Army in its all-out war against CTGs and will actively promote the efforts of the Regional Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict for a peaceful and progressive Bicol.
One CTG rebel also died in an encounter in Barangay Toytoy, Garchitorena, Camarines Sur on February 1 while three were killed in Barangay Anas, Masbate City on June 8.
There have also been 505 ex-rebels who surrendered in Masbate from June 18 to 28.
The NPA is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines. (PNA)