Three alleged NPAs killed in encounter with military in North Cotabato
Three alleged members of New People’s Army (NPA) were killed in a one-hour firefight with government troops in North Cotabato on Friday morning.
1st Lt. Tere Ingente, public affairs office chief of Army’s 4th Infantry Division, said the clash between the troops of 19th Infantry Battalion and 50 members of Pulang Bagani Command 2 (PBC2) of the Southern Mindanao Regional Committee occurred in the vicinity of Brgy. Don Panaca, Magpet around 6:45 am.
Lieutenant Colonel Ehrlich Paraso, commanding officer of 19th Infantry Battalion, said the troops were conducting combat operations to validate reported presence of the armed group.
“Civilians relayed information to our community support program team deployed that there were presence of armed NPA terrorists in the area that prompted us to launch operations,” he said.
Ingente said the recovered bodies of the three rebels have not been identified.
Major General Ronald Villanueva , commander of the 4th ID, assures soldiers are always open to rebels who wants to return to the folds of the law despite ongoing military operation against the NPA.
“The 4th Infantry Division is really serious in going after the NPA terrorists but, we are not closing doors for them. In fact, the government has ECLIP (Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program) that NPAs can avail of if they decide to surrender and be a productive member of the society,” he said.
“The local government of North Cotabato under Governor Emmylou Tali?o-Mendoza have been very supportive to surenderees, both 4ID and the provincial government of North Cotabato are willing to assist the surrenderees in their reintegration process,” he added. Robina Asido/DMS