By Francis Wakefield
Troops from various units of the Armed Forces of the Philippines-Eastern Mindanao Command (AFP-EastMinCom) foiled the attacks of the New People’s Army (NPA) in separate areas in Mindanao over the weekend.
The attacks were made after the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) leader Jose Maria Sison directed the NPA to conduct atrocities across the country, the military said.
Troops from by the 1003rd Infantry Brigade were responding to reports about an arms cache in So Sil-angon, Barangay Cawayan, San Fernando, Bukidnon, when suspected NPAs engaged them in a firefight at about 10:30 a.m. on March 2, 2019.
The brief skirmish led to the death an NPA rebel and the seizure of three shotguns.
Earlier at about 9:30 of same day, a team from 3rd Special Forces Battalion was conducting security operations when it encountered and clashed with undetermined numbers of NPAs in Barangay Mabuhay, Prosperidad, Agusan del Sur. The brief encounter resulted in the killing of Cpl. Ambert C Maramag.
At about 9:20 a.m. on March 2, 2019, troops from the 30th Infantry Battalion were responding to a reported presence of NPAs in Sitio Katikoyan, Barangay Camam-onan, Gigaquit, Surigao del Norte, when they were fired upon by the rebels.
After a 20-minute firefight, the NPAs scampered to different directions, leaving behind a bandolier with AK47 ammunition, one anti-personnel mine, one hundred meters of detonation cord, wire; Motorola hand-held radio, and other belongings.
Earlier in the afternoon of March 1, 2019, troops from the 4th Scout Ranger Battalion were validating the reported presence of NPAs in Barangay San Roque, San Miguel, Surigao del Sur when they encountered undetermined number of NPAs. The firefight lasted for about 15 minutes with no casualty reported on both sides.
Lt. Gen. Felimon T. Santos Jr., EastMinCom commander, attributed the foiling of the attacks with the cooperation of the communities.