Troopers seize firearms, belongings in Sorsogon rift
By Ana-liza Macatangay
PILI, Camarines Sur --- An encounter with an undetermined number of Communist Terrorist Group (CTG) members in Pilar, Sorsogon, yesterday morning, Feb. 1, resulted in the seizure of high-calibre firearms after the combined forces of the 31st Infantry (Charge) Battalion, Regional Mobile Force Battalion (RMF5), Pilar Municipal Police Station (MPS), and Albay Police Provincial Office (PPO) exchanged fire with the insurgents.
According to Division Public Affairs Office (DPAO) Officer-in-Charge Capt. Frank Roldan, the 15-minute gunfight occurred at around 8:55 a.m. at the tri-boundary of Brgy. San Vicente Grande, Daraga, Albay, Barangay Catamlangan and Pinagsalog in Pilar, Sorsogon.
High-calibre firearms, including two (2) M16 rifles, two (2) anti-personal mines, one (1) molotov, cellphone, and personal belongings presumably belonging to the rebels who fled after being outnumbered by government forces, were left on the encounter site.
“Based on the information given to the troops by concerned residents regarding the presence of an undetermined number of armed men within the tri-boundary of the said barangays, the troops then conducted a combat operation which ensued into a 15-minute fire fight. Initially, there were no reported deaths on either the government or rebel sides, but there were an unknown number of wounded rebels on the enemy’s side based on the blood stains in the encounter site,” the DPAO OIC added.MGen Adonis Bajao, the newly-installed 9th ID Commander, urged CTG members who are still in the hinterlands to surrender
“Hinihikayat ko po ang mga miyembro ng CTG na sumuko na lamang at maging bahagi ng pagbabago ng ating komunidad tungo sa tunay na kapayapaan. Katatapos lamang po ng ating paggunita sa National Bible Day nitong Lunes, nawa’y sa pamamagitan nito ay mabuksan na rin ang inyong mga puso’t isipan upang baguhin na ang inyong mga pananaw sa buhay”, MGen. Bajao said.
This is the government’s 5th encounter this year since January. A similar firefight occurred in Sorsogon on Jan. 15 and 28 as well asom Brgy. Aroroy and Baleno in Masbate and in Albay on January 9.
The government also seized a number of high-calibre firearms, including an M-60 machine gun, an M14 7.62 rifle, an M4 5.56 rifle, assorted ammunition, and terroristic documents.
MGen Bajao stated that he will continue to persuade the remaining CTG members to return to the folds of the law, to take advantage of government programs, particularly the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP), and to live peacefully with their families without fear of what tomorrow holds. (With reports from 9DPAO-PIA5/Camarines Sur)