Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Militiamen Repulse NPA Attackers in Agusan Del Norte

A small group of militiamen led by an Army soldier successfully repulsed an overwhelming force of communist guerillas in a dawn attack at a far-flung military encampment in Agusan del Norte at around 4:30am today.

Colonel Leopoldo Galon, the Spokesperson of the Eastern Mindanao Command, stated that about 50 heavily armed NPA rebels perpetrated the attack on the small military camp located in San Antonio village, Remedios T Romualdez town in Agusan del Norte.

Corporal Murphy Haiber, the leader of the 30-man CAFGU detachment, valiantly defended the camp with his companions.

The close quarter combat that ensued raged for five hours, with the rebels getting shot one by one as they tried to breach the perimeter defenses of the detachment. Unfazed by the rebels' use of bombs, the militiamen held their ground and pressed the fight.

Incurring numerous casualties in the fighting, the rebels scampered away to various directions leaving  behind  three high-powered firearms including two M16 Armalite rifles and a 40mm M203 Grenade Launcher. Bomb materials such as detonating cords and live ammunitions were also seized from the rebels.

Two military personnel were wounded including Corporal Haiber and a militiaman named Dionisio Calbo who is also a village councilman.

One militiaman, Christopher Rara, was killed due to lethal wounds sustained in the heavy fighting.

Troop reinforcements from the 3rd Special Forces Battalion have arrived to pursue the rebels, following the traces of blood dripping along their escape route

"I believe there are more casualties among the rebels. I am saddened that they insist to initiate bloody firefights when our thrust in the region is to help the poor communities through the various development initiatives that we carried out," said Galon.

Bayanihan missions to continue

Galon said that despite the latest attack, the soldiers will continue with their mandated missions in the region. He also clarified the significant role of the CAFGU detachments in the remote villages.

"A CAFGU detachment is composed of civilian volunteers  who are committed to help the government maintain the peace in the once rebel-infested community. This set up is the best example of bayanihan in our drive to liberate the areas which the communist rebels want to dominate by force of arms," said Galon.

Eastmincom Chief Lt General Arthur Tabaquero is optimistic that the communist rebels will finally realize the futility of their cause. He mentioned that some 80 rebels had in fact surrendered to his command last year.

Tabaquero also said that the military will continue carrying out its peace and development programs to alleviate the suffering of the people while  maintaining the peace.

"While most of our soldiers are preoccupied with their community works such as the building of schools and health centers, a significant number will also continue to protect the vital installations and government interests," Tabaquero said.

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