Army kills 3 rebels, seize 16 firearms
THREE communist rebels were slain by a composite team of 9th Infantry Division troopers and police personnel during a hot pursuit operation against the perpetrators of the recent Masbate City bombing that claimed the lives of two civilians.
Government forces recovered three M16 rifles, one M14 rifle, various war and propaganda materials after the encounter.
Prior to the armed encounter, residents reported the presence of New People’s Army (NPA) rebels in Barangay Anas, which prompted the operating troops to scour the area where they encountered at some 30 red fighters at around 5:30 AM.
An Intense gun fight lasted for 15 minutes before the rebels escaped in haste.
Two hours later, government troops found another 12 high-powered firearms comprise of 11 M16 rifles and one M653 rifle hidden in a nipa hut at the boundary of Barangay Anas and Barangay Bolo both of Masbate City, which rifles were believed to be left behind by fleeing rebels.
Lt. Col. Siegfried Felipe Awichen, commander of the 2nd Infantry Battalion (2IB), attributed the successful operation to the Masbateños who, out of anger over the NPA’s recent attack, tipped off the location of the communist insurgents.
Col. Aldwine Almase, commander of the 903rd Infantry Brigade, on the other hand, assured the public that the Army and police will not stop until all NPA members responsible for the attack are put behind bars.
“We will not allow these terrorists to continue killing innocent people and destroying hopes and dreams of our youth. Our persistent operations will continue to make sure that those who participated in this crime will rot in prison,” Almase said.
MGen. Henry A. Robinson Jr., commander of the Joint Task Force (JTF) Bicolandia warned NPA members that they are doomed once they do not surrender and admit to their crimes.
“We do not tolerate terrorism. Thus, we are giving these evildoers two options: to keep their lives or to die fighting against our troops who are scouring every nook and cranny of Masbate province just to find them. Bright future awaits the Absalons had it not been for this terrorist group’s wickedness. But we are confident that they will all face the consequences of their crimes, especially that the Masbateños who are expressing strong repulsion over the CTG’s inhuman acts and lawlessness are one with us in this fight,” Robinson said.
To recall, the communist rebels detonated an improvised explosive device killing FEU’s football player, Keith Absalon and his cousin, Nolven.