2 Reds killed in Northern Mindanao clashes
Two members of the New People’s Army were killed in a series of clashes with government troops in the boundaries of Misamis Oriental and Bukidnon, military said on Sunday.
Members of the 65th Infantry Battalion and 1st Special Forces Battalion, both under 403rd Infantry Brigade, encountered the communist rebels three times last Saturday at Brgy. Minalwang, Claveria, Misamis Oriental.
Successive clashes resulted to the seizure of the rebels' encampment, death of one NPA member and recovery of bandoleer with four magazines, live ammunition, improvised explosive device, subversive documents, and personal belongings.
Last Friday, a clash occurred at around 12:25pm between the Maoist group and the 43rd Division Reconnaissance Company in the same area.
After the firefight, the troops recovered another dead body of a rebel and two rifles.
Brigadier General Eric Vinoya, commander of the 403rd Infantry Brigade, said deaths from the leftist group would not happen if they just surrendered to the government.
"We offer our sincere condolences to the families and relatives on the death of the two NPA terrorists. This could not have happened if they heeded our call of surrender,” he said.
“Hence, I once again call upon the CPP (Communist Party of the Philippines)-NPA terrorists, especially those who were wounded in the recent encounters with our troops, come down, we will help you seek proper medical attention along with our local officials and return to the mainstream society,” he added.
4th Infantry Division commander Major General Ronald Villanueva thanked the locals for their cooperation that resulted to the declining number of the communist group.
“We are thankful of the populace that have realized that there is no sense in supporting the failed armed struggle, those local government officials who are doing their mandate of protecting their constituents from NPA terrorists' exploitation and the former NPAs that heeded to our call of surrender. You are the reason the NPA terrorist’s current degrading number,” Villanueva said.
“What good does New Peoples’ Army has to celebrate in its 49th year? Yes! It is a celebration of defeat in its aim to change the government from democratic to communist. A celebration of failed ideology. A celebration of murders, arson, extortion and exploitation to fellow Filipinos,” he said.
Government troops launched wide-scale operations in relation to the just concluded 49th NPA anniversary. They also received information and complaints from the local people about the group’s extortion activities, foraging, and intimidation. Ella Dionisio/DMS