Rebel killed in Sorsogon encounter with gov’t troops

LEGAZPI CITY – A member of the New People’s Army (NPA) was killed in a clash between elements of the Philippine Army’s 22nd Infantry Battalion (22IB) and at least 10 members of the communist terrorist group (CTG) in Barangay Gulang-Gulang, Irosin, Sorsogon on Monday night.

Captain John Paul Belleza, 9th Infantry Division (9ID) spokesperson, in a statement on Tuesday said the 22IB conducted a security operation to verify the report from residents of the said barangay about the extortion and recruitment activities of the rebels.

Following operational procedures, the troops spotted and engaged the enemies, resulting in a fierce firefight that forced the rebels to scamper and withdraw in different directions, leaving their dead comrade behind. No one was harmed on the government side.

An M16 rifle, six anti-personnel mines, commercial radios, 50-meter electrical wire, and backpack were recovered by the soldiers at the clash site.

Lt. Col. Mico, 22IB commander, lauded the persistence of his troops but gave back the credit to the villagers, especially the parents of some minors that the CTG was trying to recruit, for their prompt report.

“We thank the residents of Irosin for their cooperation manifested through their refusal to condone the atrocities of this terrorist group particularly their urge to deceive the youth sector,” Mico added.

Meanwhile, Maj. Gen. Henry Robinson Jr., 9ID and Joint Task Bicolandia chief, commended the troops for their commitment and dedication to the government’s goal of finally exterminating the communist insurgency in the region.

“Our string of successes spoke of our sincerity to offer the Bicolanos a just and lasting peace they’ve been longing for. We have warned the CTGs about our non-stop extensive military operations, but once again, we call on them to lay down their arms and return to the folds of the law,” he said.

Four days ago, a series of operations in the province also resulted in the killing of two CTG members and the recovery of four high-powered firearms and another rifle.

Source: Philippines News Agency

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