By Danny J. Estacio
Camp Nakar, Quezon — Army troopers claimed victory in battling around 30 New People’s Army (NPA) terrorists Monday morning after capturing their camp in Barangay Junggo, Lopez town, this province.
A platoon-size force of Charlie Company of the 85th Infantry Battalion (85th IB) was conducting security operations after a tip from a civilian that a group of NPA terrorists was extorting from residents in the village when the exchange of fire broke out at 10 a.m.
The armed fighters were led by Hilario de Roxas, alias “Ka Mando,” platoon leader of NPA’s sub-regional military area (SBMA).
After a 15-minute exchange of fire, the communist-terrorists withdrew and traces of blood were spotted along their escape route.
Colonel Elias Escharcha, commander of the army’s 201st Infantry Brigade (201 IB), said there were 15 makeshift nipa huts found at the NPA encampment.
NPA firearms composed of an M16 rifle A2 attached with a grenade launcher M203, a generator set, and six sacks of rice were seized in the military’s clearing operations.
A second wave of troops under Lieutenant Jovinal Gumilab conducted hot pursuit operations against the fleeing rebels and another section of Charlie Company of the 85th IB. (With a report from Francis T. Wakefield)