By Francis Wakefield
The New People’s Army (NPA) operating in the area of responsibility of the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ (AFP) Eastern Mindanao Command (EastMinCom) has reportedly been suffering from severe setbacks as a result of the relentless security operations for the past three days.
This was pointed out by the military as troops from the Army’s 28th Infantry Battalion (IB), encountered NPA members in Sitio Washington, Barangay Las Arenas, Pantukan in Compostela Valley Province last Sunday, March 17.
The soldiers, responding to information provided by the community, sent the rebels scampering while leaving behind two M16 rifles and a grenade launcher.
On Sunday, March 17, 2019, troops from the Army’s 28th Infantry Battalion (IB), encountered On another occasion last March 15, members of the Third Special Forces Battalion encountered insurgents in the outskirts of Sitio Ago, Brgy. Magsaysay, Prosperidad, Agusan del Sur.
A 10-minute firefight ensued that resulted in the death of an NPA rebel and the recovery of an M14 rifle and bandolier with magazines and ammunition.
Since no one has come forward to identify or claim the remains of the ill-fated rebel, the Prosperidad government, police and military accorded him with a decent burial last Sunday at the Prosperidad public cemetery.
In recent days, the troops have figured in 59 encounters with the Communist insurgents in different areas of eastern Mindanao.
These skirmishes led to the capture of 68 firearms, 53 landmines, and death of 15 CNTG members.
Lt. General Felimon T. Santos Jr., Commander of Eastern Mindanao Command, reminded his units to ensure the protection of communities after the leadership of the CPP openly directed the NPAs to conduct atrocities.
“Let us ensure the safety of the communities. We should not allow anyone to disturb their economic endeavor and be the collateral of their evil political ideology,” Santos said.