Sunday, December 04, 2011

Army Seizes NPA's Forest Lair in North Cotabato

                    ARMY SOLDIERS pose for a souvenir photo after an infantry skills training.

FORT BONIFACIO, Taguig City---Army soldiers have captured a forest lair used by the New People's Army in a remote village in North Cotabato, a military official said.

Lt. Col Noel dela Cruz, the Acting Battalion Commander of the 57th Infantry Battalion, said that soldiers belonging to his unit captured the camp after an encounter with more or 30 NPA bandits in Sitio Ilitasan, Biangan village, Makilala town at around 1:30pm today (Sunday).

"A civilian tipster guided the soldiers towards the NPA encampment in a forested area. A 20-man section of my soldiers led by 2nd Lieutenant Gener Panganiban proceeded to the area with the informant," said Dela Cruz by phone.

"A 20-minute firefight ensued when the rebels started firing their guns as the soldiers approached their location. The rebels fled with their casualties, leaving behind 3 dead comrades and 4 high-powered firearms," he added.

The soldiers confiscated 2 Cal 5.56mm M16A1 Armalite Rifles and 2 Cal 7.62mm M14 Rifles with live ammunitions.

A hand-held Motorola radio was also left behind by the rebels who scampered to various directions leaving a trail of blood along the way.

Dela Cruz said that he has coordinated with the local officials in the village for the proper identification of the fallen rebels. He also said that he will make sure that the dead rebels will be given decent burial.

"My soldiers will continuously conduct peace and development operations in the area. Our thrust is to convince the rebels to lay down their arms because we are not happy to kill our fellow Filipinos. I believe that the insurgency problem can be solved through peaceful means and not through force of arms," added Dela Cruz.

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