Camp Evangelista, Cagayan de Oro City – Two (2) separate clashes have erupted once again between the government troops and CPP-NPA Terrorists (CNTs) in the area of responsibility of the 4th Infantry (Diamond) Division that led to the killing of six (6) CNTs and the capture of fourteen (14) high-powered and one (1) low powered firearms in Malaybalay City, Bukidnon and Butuan City in Agusan del Norte last Monday, September 20, 2021.
Responding to a reliable information from civilian residents, joint forces of the 1st Special Forces Battalion (1SFBn) under LtCol. Vercisio G. San Jose Jr., Commanding Officer, and 8th Infantry Battalion (8IB) under LtCol. Edgardo V. Talaroc Jr., Commanding Officer, launched a focused military operation against the leadership and components of the National Operations Command (NOC) of the CPP-NPA, KOMMID, and Regional Operations Command (ROC), Headquarters Forces Neo (HQF NEO), Regional Sentro De Gravidad Compaq (RSDG COMPAQ), and Guerilla Front 89 (GF-89) of North Central Mindanao Regional Committee (NCMRC).
Special Forces Teams of 1st Special Forces Battalion under the operational control of 403rd Infantry Brigade of the 4th Infantry Division swooped down on the CNT hideout at the mountainous area of Sitio Cogon Cogon, Brgy. Manalog, Malaybalay City, Bukidnon around 06:45 in the morning yesterday and encountered more or less 15 combined elements of the CNTs under HQF NEO and RSDG COMPAQ, both of NCMRC.
After securing the encounter site, found were 5 dead CNTs who are abandoned by their comrades and subsequently captured 11 high-powered firearms composed 6 AK47 Rifles, 2 M16 Rifles, 3 M653 rifles and 1 caliber .45 pistol along with various war materiel. No casualty on the government side was recorded.
Meanwhile, another clash also transpired around 3:00 PM last Monday (Sept. 20) at the forested area of Brgy. Bugsukan, Butuan City, Agusan del Norte between joint forces of 15SAC, 1SAB, PNP SAF and 65th Infantry Battalion (65IB) led by Police Lt Philip G Marcos against undetermined member of fully armed CNTs.
The firefight lasted for 15 minutes and resulted in the killing of 1 male CNT member identified as Alias Jimboy (LN: Anduhoyan) of Sandatahang Yunin Pampropaganda 21A (SYP21A), GF21, Sub-Regional Committee (SRC) Westland of the North Eastern Mindanao Regional Committee (NEMRC) and capture of 3 high-powered firearms – 2 M16 Rifles with magazines, and 1 M203 40MM Grenade launcher.
In his statement, Major General Romeo S Brawner Jr, Commander of the 4ID, lauded the 403rd Brigade under Brigadier General Ferdinand T Barandon, and the 1SFBn for another outstanding performance against the CNTs in Bukidnon. He also congratulated the whole 1st Special Action Battalion (1SAB) of PNP’s Special Action Force (SAF) and 65IB for the victory against the CNTs in Butuan City.
MGen. Branwer Jr. said that the PNP is working side by side with the AFP in the conduct of intensified focused military operations against the CNTs to help end the insurgency in the area.
“The CTG will never win in this fight. With the PNP making their presence felt in the anti-insurgency campaign, we expect more and more CTG members and leaders to heed our call for peace after the series of setbacks they suffered in the past days in Bukidnon. Voluntary surrender is imminent and choosing to return to the peaceful path to avail the Enhance Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP) would be the better option for the CTG”, MGen Brawner Jr said.
For the month of September alone, a total of 11 government initiated encounters have transpired resulting in the neutralization of 34 CTG members and seizure of 56 high powered and 4 low-powered firearms during military operations. There were also 7 CTG hideouts that were overran or discovered by the 4ID troops during the period.
“We are calling all remnants of the CPP-NPA-NDF or the Communist Terrorist Group particularly in Bukidnon province to stop the senseless fight, and save their lives. I am appealing to the CPP-NPA-NDF leaders to give peace a chance. Can they not find a little space in their hearts that desires for peace and end this futile armed struggle that cost so many lives? Is it not clear that our people wants peace and not chaos? People want development not senseless deaths”, MGen. Brawner Jr. stressed.
(Source: 4th Infantry (Diamond) Division, Philippine Army)