CAMP ELIAS ANGELES, Pili, Camarines Sur – Three NPA bandits were killed and four high-powered firearms were recovered in an encounter with government troops in Camarines Sur early evening last night, a military official said.
Lieutenant Colonel Ernesto Cruz, Commander of the 42nd Infantry Battalion, said that he sent a squad of his soldiers led by 1st Lieutenant Nyro Jimenez to arrest the rebels after a local resident sent a text message about the presence of bandits in Lubgan village of Bula town at about 5:00pm yesterday.
“My informant texted me that 6 bandits belonging to the Kilusang Sangay sa Platun (KSPN) 74 were forcibly collecting food provisions from them. I promptly sent a squad of my soldiers to apprehend the rebels,” said Cruz.
A 10-minute firefight ensued when the rebels started firing their guns at the approaching soldiers. Outmaneuvered and suffering casualties, the rebels withdrew bringing along their wounded comrades.
Three NPA rebels lay dead and four high-powered firearms were recovered including 2 Cal 5.56mm M653 Rifles, one M16A1 Rifle and a KG9 9mm Submachinegun.
One soldier, Private First Class Marciano Alguera, was wounded during the firefight.
The dead rebels were brought to a chapel in the village for identification. Not anyone among the residents were able to identify the fallen bandits.
Meanwhile, the wounded soldier was immediately brought to 9th ID hospital for treatment of his abdominal wound. Attending physicians have declared him out of danger.
Major General Ruperto R Pabustan, Commander of the 9th Infantry Division, has called on the members of the NPA bandit group to lay down their arms and return to the folds of the law.
“We are saddened by the death of these rebels. It is my top priority to lure them back to the mainstream society by availing the government’s Social Integration Program wherein they are given livelihood and financial benefits,” Pabustan said.
Pabustan also cited the rising number of civilian tipsters who provide valuable information about the presence of NPA rebels in their villages.
“The sustained efforts of the civilians who helped us locate the rebels are appreciated. This is an indication that they are indeed fed up by the extortion activities of the NPA bandits,” he added.