By Francis Wakefield
Three Communist New People’s Army Terrorists (CNTs) were killed following an encounter with government troops in Magpet, North Cotabato on Friday.
First Lt. Tere Ingente, the chief of 4th Infantry Division Public Affairs Office, said the encounter took place between troops of the Army’s 19th Infantry Battalion and an estimated 50 CNTs of the Pulang Bagani Command 2 (PBC2) of the Southern Mindanao Regional Committee at Brgy. Don Panaca, Magpet, North Cotabato, at about 6:45 a.m.
Ingente said the firefight lasted for one hour which resulted in the death of three CNTs whose names have yet to be identified and the recovery of one M16 rifle.
Lt. Col. Ehrlich Paraso, commanding officer of 19th Infantry Battalion said, civilians tipped them about the presence of armed NPA terrorists in the area that prompted them to launch operations.
Community Support Program (CSP) teams are deployed to priority areas as part of the Philippine Army’s campaign to assess the issues in the barangays and later relay it to the government agencies and government units for them to take actions and solve the issues.
Colonel Larry Mojica, commander of the 901st Infantry Brigade, extended his condolences to the friends and families of the NPA terrorists who died in the clash with government troops.
Mojica said enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (ECLIP) is a reintegration program of the government that regular NPA surrenderees and Milisyang Bayan can avail of if they decide to surrender and go back to mainstream society.
“I congratulate the dedication shown by the troops of 19th Infantry Battalion. They came in 4ID’s area of responsibility just early this year, yet they managed to contribute to the over-all campaign of the Division,” Mojica said.
Major General Ronald Villanueva, 4th ID Commander, said the local government of North Cotabato under Governor Emmylou Taliño-Mendoza will assist the surrenderees in their reintegration process.