Assorted weapons seized as soldiers clash with NPA rebels in Mindoro

By Saul Pa-a

July 2, 2018, 4:26 pm

CAMP GEN. CAPINPIN, Tanay, Rizal -- The Philippine Army’s 2nd Infantry “Jungle Fighter” Division (2ID) Commander Maj. Gen. Rhoderick Parayno on Sunday lauded continuing efforts of the 76th Infantry Battalion (76IB) on their successful operations against the communist New People’s Army terrorist group over the weekend.

Parayno congratulated the 76IB troops after their clash with NPA terrorists around 1:35 p.m. on June 29 in Sitio Kamambugan, Barangay Pinagturilan in Sta. Cruz, Occidental Mindoro which left an undetermined number of casualties on the communist rebels, recovering a number of enemies' firearms.

“Now that we are on the track of them, we will run them down until they are totally annihilated in order to stop their threats, extortions and other terroristic activities to the Mangyan Indigenous People (IP),” Parayno said.

The military report also said police checkpoints are beefed up in the area as pursuit operations are ongoing.

The 76IB acting commanding officer Lt. Col. Mario Lito Retirva disclosed the troops were conducting combat operations after receiving a report from concerned IPs regarding the presence of armed group extorting foodstuffs and recruiting IPs in the area.

Retirva said the government troops proceeded to the Mangyan community to confirm the report when they encountered around 40 rebels.

Firefight lasted for 15 minutes, but none of the soldiers was hurt while an undetermined number of wounded were reported on the NPA side as indicated by bloodstains at the clash site.

After the skirmish, the soldiers recovered an M16 upper receiver, 9 mm cal. Pistol, caliber .38 revolver, improvise explosive devices (IEDs), assorted ammunition and magazines, personal belongings and other subversive documents.

Meanwhile, Brig. Gen. Antonio Parlade, Commander of the 203rd Brigade under the 2ID, said the soldiers’ encounter with the terrorist group has preempted the rebels’ plan to bomb construction equipment in the area using the IEDs.

Parlade also urged Rosita Serrano, alias “Ka Bebang”, a known NPA leader in Mindoro, to surrender and return to government fold.

Sa kasalukuyan matatanda at sakitin na ang mga lider ng NPA sa Mindoro. Ito na marahil ang tamang panahon para kayo ay bumaba, at pag-usapan natin ang katahimikan sa Mindoro (As of now, the NPA leaders in Mindoro are already old and sickly. It is about time that you (rebels) come down and we will talk about peace in Mindoro),” he said.

Capt. Patrick Jay Returmban, chief of the 2ID Public Affairs Office, said the 2ID headquarters received a text message on the progress report on join pursuit operations on Sunday where the troops and the police efforts recovered two more shotguns, a laptop, and two cellphones from the rebels.

Retumban said the troops were able to open a rebel's mobile phone which revealed an SOS message to their comrades saying “kapag hindi dumating ang medic natin baka mamatay na ang 2 na lubhang sugatan dito. Magdala kayo ng blood clot (if our medic would not arrive, our two seriously injured members here may die. You bring blood clot).” (PNA)