BUTUAN CITY – Some three rebels of the communist New People’s Army (NPA) were captured after a skirmish that took place early Wednesday morning in Barangay Maraiging, Jabonga, Agusan del Norte.
A report from the local police station in Jabonga said troops from the 29th Infantry Battalion were conducting security operations at the ongoing construction of a farm-to-market road (FMR) in the area when they were fired upon by an undetermined number of insurgents.
The military operation was launched after the rebels threatened to wreak havoc on the ongoing construction works of the FMR and on the heavy equipment being utilized in the area.
The report added that the rebels belonged to the combined groups of Sandatahang Yunit Pampropaganda 16A and Sentro de Grabidad 16 (SDG-16), all of Guerrilla Front 16, North Eastern Mindanao Regional Committee of the NPA led by a certain Francisco Nicolas, alias Chong.
One M-16 rifle was also recovered at the encounter site after the NPA rebels retreated from their position after the 15-minute gunfight.
The captured rebels were identified as Renan Bago alias Justin, the vice team leader of Squad Dragon of SDG-16; Andre Pinao; and Tungan Lauro.
Bago was wounded during the encounter.
The initial report also indicated that three Army troopers and a militiaman were killed during the encounter.
Two Army personnel were also wounded during the skirmish, the initial report added.
The Communist Party of the Philippines-NPA is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines. (PNA)