Gov’t troops seize rebels’ camp in Surigao del Norte after gun battle

Published May 17, 2022, 12:23 PM

by Mike Crismundo

BUTUAN CITY — Combat maneuvering troops of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) captured the command center of a guerilla front of the Communist New People’s Army Terrorists (CNTs) in Northeastern Mindanao (The Caraga Region).

Maj. Francisco P. Garello Jr., Public Affairs Office (PAO) chief of the AFP’s Northeastern Mindanao 4th Infantry (Diamond) Division (4th ID), told The Manila Bulletin on Tuesday that the peace-keeping and development troops of the 30th Infantry Battalion (30thIB) are still on clearing operations in the captured CPP-NPA camp while other combat troops are still pursuing the fleeing CNTs in the mountains of Surigao del Norte.

“Our troops are still pursuing the running communist terrorists in an effort to get their wounded comrades-in-arms and be given immediate medical assistance,” the 4th ID PAO chief said.

Troops under the Army’s 30th IB overran the CPP-NPA camp following an encounter in the peripheries of Pungtod area, in Bacuag town, Surigao del Norte, on Sunday, Maj. Garello added.

Meanwhile, the command center of the 30th IB also said soldiers were deployed to check on reports about NPA harassment of civilians in the Pungtod area.

“The CNTs were allegedly sowing fear among the villagers by forcing them to provide food,” said the 30th IB in a statement.

Before reaching the reported area, responding soldiers were fired upon by the insurgents, resulting in a 30-minute fierce gunfight, the 30th IB said.

No one was reported hurt on the government side but an undetermined number of rebels were either killed or wounded, the 30th IB said.

The 30th IB said the undetermined number of CNTs allegedly belonged to the Sandatahang Yunit Pampropaganda (SYP) 16-C2 and 16-C1 of Guerilla Front 16 (GF 16) of the CPP-NPA Northeastern Mindanao Regional Party Committee (NMRPC), under certain “Ka Neniel”.

Recovered from the NPA camp were an AR15 rifle, an M203 grenade launcher, 30 AK-47 rifle ammunition, 20 ammunition for an M16 rifle, assorted live bullets, personal belongings and anti-government documents.

An improvised explosive device detonating mechanism and other bomb-making materials were seized inside the camp, said the military.

Lt. Col. Ryan Charles Callanta, commanding officer of the 30th IB, underscored the importance of civilian reports to ‘help us drive away these rebels from the communities and the rest of Surigao del Norte.’

“Their accurate report to our field troops will prove that they (villagers) are already enough and tired of the communist terrorist activities and force taxation,” the 30th IB commander added.