Suspected NPA fighter killed in CDO encounter

A suspected member of the New People's Army (NPA) was killed in an encounter with the Army's 65th Infantry Battalion (65IB) on Wednesday, February 12.

The incident occurred at around at 3:20 p.m. in the hinterland barangay of Barangay Besigan, said Capt. Rene Belmonte, civil military operations officer of the Army's 403rd Infantry Brigade.

Belmonte said the NPA fighter was "left behind" by his comrades following the 15 minute firefight.

"The troops also seized three high powered firearms and several ammunitions at an uninhabited area of Kilometer 17, Barangay Besigan," he said.

He said the encounter ensued when a platoon of soldiers chanced upon some 10 armed men believed to be communist guerillas under the NPA's Sub Regional Committee 5, North Central Mindanao Regional Committee.

"According to the locals, the CPP (Communist Party of the Philippines) NPA terrorists came down from the mountains asking for food supplies from the residents," he said.

Belmonte said the cadaver was brought to 65IB headquarters for proper turn over to the police authorities.

Lt. Colonel Benjamin Pajarito, 65IB commanding officer, expressed his gratitude to the locals who reportedly provided the information about the presence of the NPA fighters in the area.

The success of our operation was due to the cooperation of everyone in the community who are fed up on the deceptive tactics of these terrorists threatening the peace and security, and the unwavering efforts of our troops in securing the communities in our Area of Operations," Pajarito said.

Pajarito said they "are saddened with the death of a CPP NPA terrorist during this encounter, who could have availed of the governments' Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program if the latter decided to surrender."

Source: Philippines News Agency

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