BUTUAN CITY – A member of the New People’s Army (NPA) was killed and a number of high-powered firearms were recovered in an encounter with troopers of the 23rd Infantry Battalion (23rd IB) at Kilometer 6, Purok 26, Lawaan, Barangay Tungao, Butuan City, military reported Friday, January 1.
The identity of the slain terrorist was not known immediately.
However, 23rd IB commanding officer Lt. Col. Julius C. Paulo said the slain Communist rebel was believed to be a member of Guerrilla Front 4-A (GF4-A) of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP)-NPA North Central Mindanao Regional Committee (NCMRC).
The firefight, which happened on Wednesday, December 30, lasted for about five minutes, and, after which, the rebels scampered towards the western direction in the area.
The soldiers immediately scoured and cleared the encounter site, and recovered the body of the dead NPA member, an M14 rifle, two caliber-.45 pistols, loaded M14, M16 and caliber-.45 magazines, bomb-making materials, including five rolls of blasting cap leg wire; two motorcycles, five cellphones, a generator, assorted food supplies, and medicines, subversive documents and personal belongings.
Bloodstains were also found along the route where the rebels withdrew.
Before the gun battle took place at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, the command and operation section of 23rd IB sent soldiers in response to a verified report from civilians on the presence of armed men in their barangay.
The encountered terrorists were believed led by a certain Kumander Kitkit, the 23rd IB commander added.
As of press time, hot pursuit operation was still ongoing.
There was no reported casualty on the government side.