Gov’t troops seize NPA camp

GENERAL SANTOS CITY – Government troops seized on Saturday a major encampment of Communist rebels in a remote village in Palimbang, Sultan Kudarat.

Major John Arvin Encinas, spokesperson of Western Mindanao Command, said troops from the 603rd Infantry Brigade, swooped down on sitio Kuden, Barangay Batang Bagras following reports that members of the New People’s Army Sub-Regional Command were holding a plenum in the area.

He said the NPA rebels had already left the area before the arrival of the government forces who recovered from the camp some 100 bunkers, multi-purpose classroom with chairs, blackboard, obstacle courses, subversive documents and tourniquet.

“The camp served as regional training and assessment center for NPA,” Encinas said.

The discovery of the NPA training camp came after the surrender of the three NPA rebels who earlier yielded to Palimbang Mayor Teng Kapina.

“ The NPA surrenderers provided the information to the military authorities on the existence of a rebel encampment in the area,” Kapina said.

He said the inhabited area is located in the boundary of Palimbang and Senator Ninoy Aquino town.

He said some 500 villagers were evacuated as government forces launched pursuit and clearing operations against the fleeing rebels.

Officials said government forces launched air strikes to flush out the rebels who were involved in extortion activities and torching of construction equipment owned by private contractors undertaking road projects in nearby Kalamansig town.

Kapina said the displaced residents are temporarily housed at an evacuation center in Barangay Batang Bagras.