FIREARMS and bullets were seized after clashes between government troops and communist rebels sparked anew in Magsaysay, Quezon town, Bukidnon, over the weekend.
The soldiers encountered some 10 New People's Army (NPA) rebels while conducting combat operations at the vicinity of said village around 6:30 a.m., Saturday.
After the 15-minute firefight, the troops recovered of an M14 rifle and a magazine loaded with four rounds of 7.62 mm bullets; one carbine rifle and a caliber 30 Springfield rifle.
No casualties were reported in the clash.
Senior Police Officer 2 (SPO2) Reynold Bangcong of Quezon town police said the operating troops have continue scouring the area while conducting hardening measures to support the soldiers in battle.
“Hindi pa sila nakababa, padayon pa nila nga gilakag ang mga NPA,” Bangcong said.
Bangcong said they have been receiving reports of NPA sightings in the area.
The Quezon town police also deployed personnel to conduct checkpoints on vital route and have informed citizens at the vicinity of the battle ground to cancel any activity in the area so as to prevent them from getting caught in crossfire.
About two hours after, the presence of fully armed men believed to be NPAs were sighted at a compound of Sumitomo Fruits Inc. (Sumifru) in Tugaya village, Valencia City, Bukidnon.
Police investigation disclosed that at 8:13 a.m., the radio operator of Sumifru called for assistance after seeing around 23 suspected NPA rebels carrying long and short firearms.
Reports said eight men entered the guardhouse and took the security guard’s handheld radio worth P14,000 and hanged a streamer that says “Hustisya ug Kalinaw dili Martial Law”.
The armed men reportedly fled towards the hillside of the said village onboard an Elf truck rented by Sumifru.
Published in the SunStar Cagayan de Oro newspaper on September 11, 2017.