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Clash yields more firearms

FIREARMS. Government troopers recovered high-powered firearms, ammunition and explosive devices shown above following their armed encounter with communist rebels in a remote village in Tinambac, Camarines Sur last Sunday, July 14. Photo courtesy of Philippine Army’s 9th Infantry Division

LEGAZPI CITY -- Police and military elements recovered on Sunday, July 14, several high-powered firearms, ammunition and explosive devices following an encounter with more or less 10 communist rebels in a remote village in Tinambac, Camarines Sur.

Major Ricky Anthony Aguilar, spokesperson of the Army’s 9th Infantry Division, said in a phone interview on Monday that government troops were conducting combat operations in Sitio Lantad, Barangay La Medalla due to the reported presence of armed rebels when they clashed with the New People’s Army (NPA) guerillas.

“The firefight lasted for five minutes before the enemies scurried to different directions. No one was harmed in the government side,” he said.

A hot pursuit operation soon ensued.

Aguilar confirmed that two M16 rifles and other war materials and subversive documents were recovered in the encounter site.

Lt. Col. Tommy Deliva, commander of 83rd Infantry Battalion, emphasized that the encounter was proof of the growing support of the residents for the government’s campaign to end the unlawful acts of communist rebels, Aguilar said.

“Ang pagtulong nila para makarating sa atin ang impormasyon sa ginagawang pangingikil at paghahanap ng panibagong miyembro ng mga teroristang NPA sa kanilang barangay ang naging susi ng encounter na ito (This encounter is a result of the residents’ willingness to report the extortions and recruitment being made by the NPA terrorists in their barangay),” he added.

Col. Rommel Tello, commander of the 902nd Infantry Brigade, on the other hand, said it is about time that the insurgents realize that their fight for flawed ideals and principles is useless and will only result in violence and endanger many lives, including those of civilians and their own.

He added that only the corrupt top officials of the armed movement benefit from their extortion activities.

Meanwhile, the Joint Task Force Bicolandia (JTFB) under Major General Fernando Trinidad assured the public of more intensified security measures being laid down in the entire region amidst the series of encounters that transpired since the month of June.

He added that the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) is always ready to fight the enemies of the state and secure its people.

He reiterated that the government is also ready to welcome with open arms the members of the NPA who will abandon the armed struggle and help them establish better lives through the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP).

The NPA, along with its political wing, the Communist Party of the Philippines, is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, European Union, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines. PNA

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