By Armando Fenequito Jr.
DAVAO CITY – A member of the New People’s Army (NPA) was killed in an encounter with active defense teams that were on patrol to monitor the quarantine being implemented to prevent the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Pantukan, Davao de Oro on Tuesday morning.
10th Infantry Division (10th ID) Public Affairs Officer Capt. Jerry Lamosa said, in a statement, the incident happened in Sitio Matinglob, Barangay Tagdangua, in Pantukan town around 6:50 a.m. April 7.
Lamosao said authorities received information that civilians were being harassed by a group of NPA rebels who were ransacking their homes for food.
He said the armed group forced civilians to provide them food, and divulge the location of local troops.
“Sa hirap ng sitwasyon ngayon, lalong nagpahirap itong ginagawa ng mga teroristang NPA. Nangransack ng bahay ng civilian at pinilit ang mga tao na bigyan sila ng pagkain, yung iba inutusan na bumili ng pagkain at hanapin ang posisyon ng kasundaluhan (Due to the difficult situation, these NPA members made the life of people harder. They ransacked the house of the civilians and force them to give food. Some were told to buy them food and find the troops’ location), ” he said.
Lamosao said their troops, along with the Philippine National Police (PNP), responded to complaints coming from local residents, but were immediately strafed by an undetermined number of insurgents upon their arrival in Sitio Matinglob.
The encounter lasted for a few minutes before the rebels made their retreat, while leaving a fallen comrade and two rifles – an M4 and an AK47.
” Panawagan namin sa mga NPA, bumaba na kayo at sumuko ng mahinahon. Handa ang gobyerno na tugunan ang inyong pangangailangan sa pamamagitan ng E-CLIP (We are calling the NPA to come down and surrender. The government is ready to address your needs through Enhanced – Comprehensive Local Integration Program), ” Lamosao added.