CAMP ELIAS ANGELES, Pili, Camarines Sur – Armys soldiers clashed with NPA bandits in a remote village of Camarines Norte today (Sept 21), a military official said.
Colonel Teodoro Cirilo Torralba, Commander of the 901st Brigade which has jurisdiction over Camarines Norte, said that he sent a 9-man squad of soldiers of the 31st Infantry Battalion led by 1st Lieutenant Abdul Hamid Salik, after receiving a report from a farmer regarding the extortion activities of the bandits in the area.
Torralba said that the farmer even volunteered to accompany the troops towards the location of the bandits of the NPA’s Kilusang Larangang Gerilya 71 led by Jaime Velasco a.k.a. Tatang, in Calabasa village of Labo town.
As the soldiers approached the rebels’ position, firefight erupted at around 8:30am. Heavy exchange of gunfire lasted 10 minutes after which the bandits fled with heavy casualties.
Salik and his men discovered pool of blood in the bandit’s position indicating that they suffered casualties during the firefight.
The soldiers confiscated a 9mm Ingram Submachinegun, 1 Cal .38 revolver, 1 MK2 Fragmentation Grenade, hundreds of rounds of live ammunitions and 7 combat packs containing personal belongings and documents of high intelligence value.
Major General Ruperto Pabustan, Commander of the 9th Infantry Division, has directed the 902nd Brigade to purse the bandits in the hinterlands of the town. He likewise lauded the local residents for the continuous flow of valuable information that facilitated the gradual demise of the NPA banditry in the Bicol Region.