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BUTUAN CITY – Two Communist New People’s Army Terrorists (CNTs) were killed while an undetermined number of other CNTs were believed wounded in a series of gun battle with government forces in the hinterland areas of Villa Undayon, Bayugan City, Agusan del Sur province.
Maj. Francisco P. Garello, Jr., Public Affairs Office (PAO) chief of the Army’s 4th Infantry (Diamond) Division (4th ID), told The Manila Bulletin that peace and development forces of the Army’s 401st Infantry (Unite N’ Fight) Brigade under the command of Brig. Gen. Allan D. Hambala are still pursuing the fleeing CNTs in the hinterland areas of Agusan del Sur province.
“Our ground troops are still following the blood stains along the escape route of withdrawal of the fleeing CNTs,” the 4th ID PAO officer said.
He said the 3rd Special Forces Battalion (3rd SFBn), 75th Infantry Battalion (75th IB), and the 41st Division Reconnaissance Company (41st DRC), are pursuing the members of the Regional Operational Command (ROC) led by a certain Bong/Waco and Regional Sentro de Grabidad (RSDG) led by a certain Janjalani/ Jerby of the Northeastern Regional Committee (NEMRC).
The series of gun battle took place after concerned villagers reported the presence of CNTs in the area of Purok 4 in Barangay Undayon, Bayugan City on Sunday, Nov. 7, 401st Brigade Civil Military Operations (CMO) officer Capt. Linley Marl M. Dajao said.
Villa Undayon is one of the recipient barangays of the Barangay Development Program of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC). The civilian population of the said barangay who have enjoyed relative peace and junked CNT atrocities reported to authorities the presence of a large number of CNTs temporarily encamped near their area.
The 401st Brigade troopers carried out the successful Focused Military Operation (FMO) at around 12: 05 noon on Sunday when the 3rd SFBn troopers encountered some 40 CNTs.
The firefight lasted for about 45 minutes, after which the rebels tried to withdraw towards the west direction but were intercepted by the 41st DRC where a firefight ensued for about five minutes. The fleeing insurgents tried to withdraw again towards the southeast direction where elements of the 3rd SFBn troopers encountered them. Another 30 minutes of firefight ensued, said Capt. Dajao.
The successive encounters resulted in the death of two CNTs and the wounding of an undetermined number of other rebels.
Government troops seized two high powered firearms, live ammunitions, two commercial radios, bomb-making materials including detonating switch, 45 meter detonating cord, blasting caps, 200 meter firing wire, pipe bomb, seven improvised firing device, a portable generator, medical items including assorted medicines, five cell phones, and backpacks with personal belongings.
“Several blood stains were also found in the encounter sites during the continuous clearing operations until yesterday and are believed to be from the wounded CNTs,” the 401st Brigade CMO officer added.
Meanwhile, Brig. Gen. Hambala thanked the villagers in the Undayon area for their all-out effort in helping the government’s peace and development program.
“We launched the operations in swift response to the information voluntarily given by the concerned local populace. The civilians in the barangay were alarmed by the presence of the armed groups and we deployed (our men) to ensure the safety and security of the people in Barangay Villa Undayon and the neighboring communities,” the commanding general of the 401st Brigade said.
“Again, I call on the remaining members of the CPP-NPA to lay down your arms and surrender peacefully, and through the development programs of the NTF-ELCAC, we will help you live a peaceful life and be together with your families again,” he said.
“Do not suffer the same fate as those two CNTs who were killed in the firefight. We will not hesitate to employ our resources to protect our peace-loving people and communities from your atrocities,” Brig. Gen. Hambala added.
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2021-11-09 12: 19: 00
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