ILIGAN CITY – Two communists leaders were killed during an encounter between troops belonging to the Philippine Army’s 102nd Infantry Brigade and the communist terrorist group in Barangay Midatag, Leon B. Postigo, Zamboanga del Norte, on Thursday (May 12).
The government troops clashed with the regional leadership and the remnants of defunct guerilla fronts of the Western Mindanao Regional Party Committee (WMRPC) around 3:40 in the afternoon.
“This is a result of the pursuit operations launched following the encounter with the same group in Barangay Tinuyop of the same municipality last May 9 during the National and Local Election,” said Brig. Gen. Leonel Nicolas, commander of the 102nd IB that has operational jurisdiction in Zamboanga del Norte.
After the 30-minute firefight, the government troops were able to neutralize Loreto Dagpin alias Elyong, former Commanding Officer of the defunct Main Regional Guerilla Unit, and Rolando Maglasang alias Mobin, former Commanding Officer of the defunct Guerilla Front-BBC. Both are members of the Executive Committee of the WMRPC.
“For several months, we have intensified our call for the remnants of these defunct guerilla fronts to lay down their arms and return to the folds of the law, but unfortunately, they chose otherwise,” Nicolas added.
The armies seized one AK 47 (CZ Type), two 5.56mm M653, and one 5.56mm M16 rifle, with five backpacks and personal belongings after the clash.
Meanwhile, Maj. Gen. Gene Ponio, Commander of the First Infantry Division, extended his sympathies to the families and friends of the casualties.
“We have not failed to convince them to lay down their arms and surrender to the government while they can,” said Ponio.
“The Army will continue to fight for peace and is always ready to use its force against peace spoilers,” he added.