LEGAZPI CITY – A New People's Army (NPA) rebel was killed in an armed encounter between government troops and the communist guerrillas in Barangay Salvacion, Ragay, Camarines Sur on Sunday afternoon.
In a statement on Monday, Maj. John Paul Belleza, the 9th Infantry Division spokesperson, said the gunfight lasted for 30 minutes and resulted in the killing of the still unidentified rebel and the recovery of two M16 rifles and a bandolier.
"Joint elements of 9th Infantry Battalion (9IB), 92nd Division Reconnaissance Company (92DRC), 1st Camarines Sur Provincial Mobile Force Company, Camarines Sur Police Provincial Office (CSPPO), 1st Camarines Norte Provincial Mobile Force Company, Camarines Norte Police Provincial Office (CNPPO) and other intelligence units were conducting security operations when they encountered at least 10 NPA members," the statement read.
Lt. Col. Cleto Lelina Jr., commander of the 9th Infantry Battalion, directed the troops to continue scouring the nearby towns to hunt down the fleeing rebels.
On the other hand, Brig. Gen. Jaime Abawag Jr, commander of 902nd Infantry Brigade, said the military's successful engagements send a strong message to the communist terrorist group about the persistent and consistent operations of the security sector against the terrorist group.
"Nakaalerto ang ating tropa sa anumang pagkilos na gagawin ng CTG ngayong holiday season kaya ang payo natin sa kanilang mga miyembro, huwag na sana nilang hintayin pang malagay sa alanganin ang kanilang buhay dahil hindi titigil ang mga sundalo at pulis sa pagtugis sa kanila. Tiyak na uuwi ang iba sa kanila kaya sa mga kaanak ng mga rebeldeng ito, gamitin ninyo ang panahong ito para makausap sila ng maayos at makumbinsing 'wag ng bumalik pa sa kilusan. (Our troops are on alert against this communist group for any movement this holiday season, that's why our advice to them is not to wait until their life is put in danger because our police and soldier will not stop from pursuing them. For sure, some rebels will go home to their families, so take this opportunity to talk to them and tell them not to go back to the group)," Abawag said.
The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP)-NPA is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines.
The Anti-Terrorism Council also formally designated the National Democratic Front as a terrorist organization on June 23, 2021, citing it as “an integral and separate part” of the CPP-NPA that was created in April 1973. (PNA)