Monday, April 12, 2010

Army Soldiers Encountered NPA Extortionists

CAMP ELIAS ANGELES, Pili, Camarines Sur – Army soldiers of the 83rd Infantry Battalion encountered more or less 10 heavily armed NPA rebels led by Daniel Fria aka Tabs, Secretary of the Nerissa San Juan Command, CPP-NPA-NDF, in Barangay San Miguel, Panganiban, Catanduanes at 8:30am today, an Army officer said.

Lt. Col. Romeo Basco, Commander of 83IB said that yesterday (April 11), he received a phone call from a political candidate about the supposed collection of Permit to Campaign (PTC) fees demanded by the communist rebels. Basco immediately sent a 20-man section of soldiers led by 2LT BALATBAT to apprehend the extortionists.

A 15-minute firefight ensued when the rebels fired their weapons at the approaching soldiers. The cowardly bandits mingled with the innocent farmers as they evaded the advancing soldiers who fired selective shots at the retreating rebels.

Recovered in the scene of encounter are one 7.62mmx39 AK-47 Assault Rifle with serial number EY3784, one M16A1 Rifle with serial number 3398820, one bandoleer for AK47 with six fully-loaded magazines, and one backpack containing subversive documents with high intelligence value.

Basco said that there were no casualties on the government side but declared that “there were indications of heavy casualties” among the NPA bandits as shown by the pools of blood along the route of withdrawal.

Major Harold Cabunoc, Spokesperson of the 9th Infantry Division, said that it is the third skirmish with the NPA rebels in Catanduanes this year. These encounters netted 10 high powered firearms and over 600 pieces PTC cards and the killing of at least four bandits.

Maj. Gen. Ruperto Pabustan has called on local politicians to report the extortion demands of the NPA rebels

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