By Francis Wakefield
Two Communist Party of the Philippines Terrorists (CNTs) including a bomb maker were killed during series of clashes against government troops under the Army’s 403rd Infantry Brigade (403Bde) at Barangay Banglay, Lagonglong, Misamis Oriental on Sunday.
Reports disclosed that the first encounter took place at around 9 a.m. Sunday against 30 CNTs coming from the Guerilla Front 4B of the North Central Mindanao Regional Committee (NCMRC), near Sitio Kamansi.
The firefight lasted for about 25 minutes which resulted in the death of two CNTs and the seizure of two AK-47 rifles and one M16 rifle.
One of the CNTs was identified as Odelo Compas also known as (AKA) Sapayanan, a functional staff for explosives/ordnance and production of said CNT group. The identity of the other dead CNT member had yet to be determined.
As the troops continue to conduct pursuit operations, another 20-minute firefight took place at 1:45 p.m. the same day, near Sitio Bayhutao of same barangay.
The encounter resulted in the wounding of a soldier who was evacuated to Camp Evangelista Station Hospital at Cagayan de Oro City, at 10 a.m. yesterday and is now in stable condition.
Further, troops were able to seize an enemy encampment with 20 makeshift bunkers that can accommodate 50 CNTs, and recover one M203 grenade launcher, one 12-guage shotgun, one M635 carbine, one air gun, ammunitions, sniper scope, three backpacks with personal belongings and subversive documents.
Meanwhile, troops believe that several other CNTs were also wounded during the series of clash as shown by the bloodstains that were seen in the withdrawal route and from the reports received by the 403Bde after the encounter.
Brig. Gen. Eric Vinoya, commander of the 403rd Infantry Brigade, said he extends his condolences to the friends and families of the NPA terrorists who died in the clash with government troops.
“It (should not) have not resulted in this if only these terrorists heeded the call of the government to lay down their arms and go back to the folds of the law,” Vinoya said.
On the other hand, functional staff for explosive/ordnance and production of Guerilla Front 4B of NCMRC is the one responsible for making and producing improvised explosive device and landmines.
“NPA terrorists are the reason why there are delays of development in the areas of Mindanao. They are desperately recruiting people who will join their failed armed struggle by force, threat and intimidation,” he said.
Further, NPA terrorists are the ones laying down IEDs and landmines that endanger not only lives of our soldiers but also the innocent civilians.”
Maj. Gen. Ronald Villanueva, commander of the 4th Infantry Division, said Campos who is a functional staff for explosives/ordnance and production of Guerilla Front 4B is a bomb maker himself. He makes landmines and IEDs proving that NPAs disrespect the International Humanitarian Law and are worthy to be called as terrorists.