PILI, Camarines Sur --- A communist NPA terrorist (CNT) member was killed in a 15-minute gunfight that ensued between government troops and Communist Terrorist Group (CTG) members in Bulan, Sorsogon, on Saturday, Oct.17.
Army troopers seized firearms and other propaganda materials at the encounter site.
In a press statement released by the Division Public Affairs Office (DPAO) chief Capt. John Paul Belleza, the encounter occurred at around 11:10 AM when elements of the 22nd Infantry Battalion (22IB) were conducting security operations when they received a tip from the residents of Brgy.Taromata regarding the presence of an armed group in the area.
The soldiers encountered at least 20 CNTs and were able to kill one of its members. This prompted the enemies to flee towards different directions, leaving on the scene a caliber .45, caliber .38, backpacks and other terroristic propaganda materials.
Though the government troops scored anew, Lt. Col. Henrito Managay, 22IB commanding officer, reminded his troops not to put their guards down and continue to implement stringent measures against the CTGs in the area to preempt any unlawful acts these terrorists are planning to do.
“MGen Henry A. Robinson, Jr., Army commander of Joint Task Force Bicolandia (JTFB) commended the troops for their relentless conduct of focused military operations which is very instrumental in sustaining the gains of the Army against the CTG in Sorsogon and recognized the help of concerned citizens for the prompt report,” Belleza stated.
In a related development, an encounter between government troops and rebels took place in Oas, Albay at around 3:00 PM of the same day. An armed clash broke out between the troops of 49th Infantry Battalion (49IB), securing the Serbisyo Caravan in Brgy. Mayag and undetermined number of CTGs operating in Brgy. Tobgon, Oas, Albay.
One military personnel was killed and two others were wounded when the communist terrorists detonated an anti-personnel mine.
The encounter was strongly condemned by JTF Bicolandia, citing the CTG’s persistent use of anti-personnel mines as a clear violation of Anti-Terrorism Law as well as the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL), RA 9851 or the Philippine Act on Crimes Against International Humanitarian Law, Genocide and other Crimes Against Humanity.
Robinson underscored that the attack against the troops who were tasked to secure the on-going Retooled Community Support Program (RCSP) is an act of terrorism.
He emphasized that it was CTG’s desperate way of retaliating. Since the deployment of 49IB from Mindanao to Albay, the unit was able to gain the support of the communities to the extent that various barangays conducted rallies to publicly condemn the terrorist group and passed resolutions declaring the CTGs as persona non grata.
“Serbisyo Caravan is a multi-service caravan of all instrumentalities of the government and other civil society organizations offering free medical and dental services, census and birth registration, food packs distribution, registration of domesticated animals and distribution of seedlings and information drive about the different programs of national agencies among others,” Robinson stated.