Troops under the Army’s 30th Infantry Battalion (30IB) overran a communist New People’s Army (NPA) lair following an encounter in the peripheries of Barangay Pungtod, in Bacuag town, Surigao del Norte, Sunday.
In a statement Monday, 30IB said soldiers were deployed to check on reports about NPA harassment of civilians in the area.
“The NPAs were sowing fear among the residents in the area by forcing them to provide food,” the 30IB said.
Before reaching Barangay Pungtod, soldiers were fired upon by the insurgents, resulting in a 30-minute skirmish.
Citing intelligence reports, 30IB said the undetermined number of rebels belong to the Sandatahang Yunit Pampropaganda 16C2 and 16C1 of NPA Guerilla Front 16, Northeastern Mindanao Regional Party Committee.
The rebels were led by Alberto Castañeda and Roel Neniel, who immediately abandoned their hideout after the gunfight.
Recovered from the NPA camp were an AR15 rifle, an M203 grenade launcher, 30 AK-47 rifle ammunition, and 20 ammunition for an M16 rifle.
An improvised explosive device detonating mechanism, subversive documents, and personal belongings of the rebels were also seized.
Lt. Col. Ryan Charles Callanta, 30IB commander, underscored the importance of civilian reports to “help us drive away these rebels from your communities and the rest of Surigao del Norte.”
The Communist Party of the Philippines-NPA is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines.
The NDF has been formally designated as a terrorist organization by the Anti-Terrorism Council on June 23, 2021, citing it as “an integral and inseparable part” of the CPP-NPA created in April 1973.
Source: Philippines News Agency