Army seizes bombs in fresh clash with NPA

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Friday, July 25, 2014


TROOPS belonging to the Philippine Army’s 10th Infantry Division recovered several improvised explosive devices and detonating materials after an encounter with New People’s Army (NPA) members Wednesday in a hinterland in Barangay Mandug in Davao City’s Buhangin District.

Captain Alberto Caber, Eastern Mindanao Command (Eastmincom) public information officer, said the soldiers under the command of the 72nd Infantry Battalion recovered improvised explosive devices (IED), blasting caps, detonating wires, and assorted ammunition for M60 machinegun at Sitio Fatima in Mandug.

The troops also recovered a flag of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and NPA, 15 backpacks, rain coat, combat boots, civilian shoes, gas stove, assorted medicines, subversive documents, and a sack of rice during their clearing operation in the area.

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Caber said the Citizen Armed Forces Geographical Unit (Cafgu) under the 69th Infantry Battalion encountered at least 20 rebels while they were conducting security operations in Mandug. The firefight lasted for about 20 minutes, he added.

“According to the civilians, there were wounded rebels brought by their companions during their escape towards a hinterland in Bunawan District of Davao City. As to the government troops, no casualty on our side were reported,” Caber said.

Major General Ariel Bernardo, outgoing commander of the 10th Infantry Division, in a forum at Waterfront Insular Hotel on Wednesday, said residents have nothing to worry since the clash took place close to 10 kilometers away from suburban in Mandug.

“In fact, kaunti na nga lang yan sila (NPA rebels) dito. Nagkataon lang na nagkasalubong sila -– hindi talaga maiwasan na magkaroon ng engkwentro. Ang importante ay walang napahamak na sibilyan, at ang ating peace efforts sa area of responsibility namin ay tuloy-tuloy,” Bernardo said.

Eastmincom commander Lieutenant General Ricardo Rainier G. Cruz III, on the other hand, lauded the civilians in the area for their cooperation and coordination to the military about the NPA rebels who always extort goods or money from them.

“The CPP/NPA is continuously violating the human rights and the rule of law. If they’re really sincere about peace, why they continue manufacturing IEDs? Our security forces would not stop its operations against threat to peace and security such as these NPA bandits,” Cruz said.

Davao Police Regional Office (PRO) Chief Superintendent Wendy Garcia Rosario also said their unit will continue its efforts in addressing all forms of lawlessness in the region. He added that the police authorities here will always be on alert as several violent incidents have occurred lately in close proximity to urban areas.

“Part of the security measures implemented by the authorities here is to intensify monitoring on lawless armed group movement, to ensure a peaceful and secured city,” Rosario said, adding that the policemen and the military have already launched a pursuit operation against the rebels.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on July 26, 2014.

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