TACLOBAN CITY – A suspected member of the New People’s Army (NPA), who was reportedly left behind by his fleeing comrades, was captured after a 30-minute gun battle with troops of the 78th Infantry Battalion (78th IB) on Sunday, January 17, in Sitio Manaba, Brgy. Pinanag-an, Borongan City, Eastern Samar.
Authorities captured a Bienvenido Abagancia, 65, and a resident of Pinabacdao, Samar. Also recovered at the encounter site were four improvised explosive devices (IEDs), an improvised 7.62mm rifle, a locally-made caliber-38 revolver, 16 short and long magazines for M-16 (336 ammunition), an M14 magazine (15 ammunition), three backpacks containing subversive documents, and personal belongings.
Lt. Col. Oliver Alvior, Commanding Officer of 78th IB, attributed the success of the operation to the cooperation of the communities that were already fed up with the lies and atrocities of the Communist terrorists.
He said the recovery of the explosives prevented a major catastrophe that might befall innocent civilians and security forces conducting community support programs in the city.
Alvior renewed his appeal to the other members of the NPA to surrender and return to the fold of the law, and avail of the government’s “Balik Baril” program.