by richy nalagon
The troops of 28th, 67th, 39th and 72nd Infan-try Battalions seized M14 and M16 rifles, four impro-vised explosive devices, live ammunitions, wires, subversive documents and several personal belo-ngings left by fleeing New People’s Army (NPA) rebels after two separate firefights in Davao Oriental and Davao del Sur.
In a press release, Capt. Rhyan Batchar, spokesperson of the 10th Infantry Battalion, said the first incident happened around 7 a.m., when troops of 28IB engaged in a 30-minute firefight around 30 NPA belonging to Pulang Bagani Company 6 at Purok DP Line, Calapagan, Lupon, Davao Oriental. The troops recovered an M14 rifle, ammunition, four IEDs, five pieces of 50-meter wires, several back packs, military uniforms, food stuffs and several sub-versive documents left by the fleeing NPA in the area.
The second incident happened around 8 a.m. when troops of 67IB en-gaged in a 20-minute firefight the NPA belonging to Guerrilla Front 25 at Sitio San Francisco, Barangay Campawan, Baganga, Davao Oriental. The same pursuing troops engaged the fleeing NPA in Man-tumbo, Barangay Matunao, Cateel, Davao Oriental at around 11:45 a.m. of the same day.
It can be recalled that same troops of 67IB were in pursuit of a group of NPA rebels they encoun-tered Friday morning, February 24 in the same barangay. A soldier was slightly hurt identified as Private Febrian Paradero. The same troops also reco-vered several personal be-longings, a 30-meter wire and subversive documents left by the fleeing NPA.
In a separate report, at around 3 a.m., the NPA belonging to Guerrilla Front 51 fired upon the soldiers and CAFGU Active Auxi-liary (CAA) of 72IB in Balagonon Detachment at Sitio Balagonon, Barangay Managa, Bansalan, Davao del Sur. The NPA imme-diately fled after the inci-dent. Pursuing troops from 39IB caught up with the fleeing NPA and engaged them in a firefight at Sitio Mahayag of the same ba-rangay. Attack helicopters and artillery pieces were employed to support the engaged troops. The sol-diers recovered an M16 Armalite rifle left by the fleeing rebels.
No soldier was hurt in these incidents.
Meanwhile, intensified security measures are put up in Davao Oriental and Davao del Sur following the series of encounters bet-ween soldiers and NPA in these areas.
Major General Rafael Valencia, 10ID commander said that the military will use all available military capabilities to protect the people and our troops against any armed group to include the NPA.
He added, “We will not hesitate to apply legitimate military force against any armed group sowing fear on the people,”
Valencia urged every Filipino to contribute in the pursuit for permanent and lasting peace for our coun-try. “We are all Filipinos; we cannot fight forever, thus, we should be one with the peoples’ clamor of silencing the guns and listening from each other and help achieve the reforms that our country needs,” he concluded.