BACOLOD CITY – Soldiers of the Philippine Army’s 79th Infantry (Masaligan) Battalion (IB) thwarted the attempt of remnants of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) to recover their lost ground in the remote area of northern Negros Occidental on Wednesday.
 
At around 6 a.m., the troops encountered some 10 communist rebels and eventually raided their hideout in Sitio Tinibyangan of Barangay Minapasuk, Calatrava town.
 
1Lt. Dansan Camua, civil-military operations officer of the 79IB, said residents informed the troops about sightings of armed men, who were also trying to ask for food.  
 
Government forces conducted security operations after receiving the reports, he added.
 
No casualty has been reported on the government side but heavy bloodstains were seen on the withdrawal route of the rebels, according to the 79IB report.
 
As of press time, troops were still conducting clearing and pursuit operations.  
 
In a radio interview, Brig. Gen. Inocencio Pasaporte, commander of the 303rd Infantry Brigade, said the remaining NPA rebels in the area are trying to regain their lost territory in northern Negros.
 
The NPA’s Northern Negros Front, which is part of the Komiteng Rehiyon-Negros, Cebu, Bohol and Siquijor, has already been declared dismantled by the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police in April last year.
 
Those who figured and died in clashes with government troops in Manapla town and Silay City late last year and the latest in Calatrava are considered remnants of the dismantled front.  
 
The CPP-NPA is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines.
 
The National Democratic Front (NDF) has been formally designated as a terrorist organization by the Anti-Terrorism Council on June 23, 2021, citing it as “an integral and inseparable part” of the CPP-NPA created in April 1973. (PNA)