Alert troopers scuttle NPA attack in Surigao del Sur

Published April 3, 2018, 10:00 PM

by Mario Casayuran and Vanne Elaine Terrazola

By Mike U. Crismundo

Camp Datu Makapandong, Awa New Leyte, Prosperidad, Agusan del Sur – Troops of the Army’s 36th Infantry Battalion (36th IB) repulsed an attempt by Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) terrorists to wreak havoc in San Miguel, Surigao del Sur, engaging their foes in midnight firefights on Tuesday, April 3.

This was disclosed by Capt. Francisco P. Garello Jr., Civil Military Operation (CMO) officer of the 36th IB to The Manila Bulletin on Tuesday.

Garello said the terrorists were planning to attack the Bolhoon Patrol Base of the 36th IB when two combat groups encountered about 30 NPAs in Barangays Bolhoon and San Roque, both in San Miguel town.

“Combat maneuvering troops of ‘Bravo Company’ 36th IB were sent to conduct combat patrol to verify an information coming from local folks that a bulk of heavily armed terrorists were converging and were headed towards Bolhoon Patrol Base ready to attack, and have set up blocking forces to any government reinforcing troops,” Garello said.

It was “around past midnight, that the 36th IB troopers clashed against more or less 15 CNTs for about 10 minutes as they cleared the perimeter of the Bolhoon Patrol Base and successfully warded off the enemy,” he said.

Garello also said that a running gun battle took place when another group of 36th IB men encountered “some 10 heavily armed terrorists believed to be the blocking force located at Barangay San Roque of same town.

“The enemy withdrew and scampered to different directions wherein the 36th IB troopers recovered one automatic AK47 rifle and improvised explosive devices with 150 meters wire,” he added.

As of this posting, attack gunship helicopters of Tactical Operations Group (TOG) of the Philippine Air Force (PAF) strike wing and helicopter wing were deployed to extend air cover to the pursuing ground troops of the 36th IB in the Diwata ranges in San Miguel, Surigao del Sur.

No one was reported hurt on the government side while undetermined number of CNTs were either killed or wounded during the two separate gunbattles, Garello added.