CAMP ELIAS ANGELES, Pili, Camarines Sur – Army soldiers clashed with the NPA’s terrorist bombers in a remote village in Camarines Sur yesterday, a military official said.
LtCol Ernesto Cruz, Commander of the 42nd Infantry Battalion said that his troops were on routine security patrols when he received a phone call about the presence of about 10 heavily- armed rebels of the Kilusang Larangang Gerilya 75 under Rolando Mustasa in Nabarera village of Baao town.
“A civilian resident told me over the phone that he spotted the rebels while setting up an ambush by laying landmines along the road. I immediately informed First Lieutenant Jimenez, my platoon leader, to dismount from their vehicle and locate the reported ambush site,” said Cruz.
While negotiating the hilly part of the village, the troops were fired upon by the rebels triggering a 15-minute firefight.
Jimenez said that he ordered his troops to observe ‘fire discipline’ upon seeing civilian houses nearby.
“I ensured that no civilians will be caught in the crossfire during the firefight when the rebels withdrew through the populated areas. We discovered droplets of blood in the enemy’s positions and we also recovered the landmine which was still buried in the supposed ambush site,” narrated Jimenez.
The CPP-NPA-NDF has continuously used landmines in its attacks against government forces in the Bicol Region. In May 2010, five soldiers perished when a landmine was detonated by NPA terrorist rebels in an ambush staged in Presentacion town.
Also yesterday, at 5:00am, in Masbate province, troops of the 9th Infantry Battalion under LtCol Anthony Purugganan confiscated two Molotov-type bombs in a hastily-abandoned hut occupied by suspected NPA rebels in South Layog village in Mandaon town.
The bombs were the same type of the ones used in the ambush of Army soldiers in Masbate province a week before the 2010 national elections.
Major General Ruperto Pabustan, Commander of the 9th Infantry Division has directed the subordinate units around Bicol Region to intensify its campaign to flush the NPA rebels who continuously conduct extortions and terroristic activities.