By Joseph Jubelag
GENERAL SANTOS CITY– Government troops have launched pursuit operations against New People’s Army (NPA) rebels who established an encampment in a mountain village in Malapatan, Sarangani.
Lt.Col. Ronaldo Valdez, 73rd Infantry Battalion commander, said some 30 NPA rebels tried to set up an encampment in Barangay Kinam, Malapatan, but they were forced to abandon the camp following an intensified combat operations conducted last Thursday by 73RD IB troopers led Lt. Alex Fernandez in the vicinity of Abunda Range bordering the towns of Malapatan and Malita, Davao Occidental.
He said the encampment served as a meeting place and territorial defense of the NPA rebels belonging to NPA-Guerilla Front 71 operating in the provinces of Sarangani and Davao Ocidental.
Troops recovered assorted belongings and subversive documents with high intelligence value.
Valdez said the rebels were on the run as the government forces launched relentless focused military operations on NPA strongholds in the mountain villages in Sarangani and Davao Occidental.
“The intensified military offensive was aimed at preventing the rebel group from conducting atrocities and offensive against government and civilian targets.” Valdez said.
He stressed that some 20 NPA rebels have yielded to military authorities since January following intensified military operations conducted by 73rd IB troops in Sarangani and Davao Occidental provinces.