Government troops engage rebels in Samar firefight-A A +A
Tuesday, March 12, 2013
THE Army's 8th Infantry Division said its military troops have engaged in a series of firefights and encounters with the New People's Army (NPA) rebels in Samar and Northern Samar Provinces.
Army spokesperson Gene Orense said the troops of Alpha Company, 43rd Infantry Battalion under 1st Lt. Roue Chris Libunao engaged undetermined numbers of NPA rebels in the boundary of Barangay Calondan, San Jorge and Brgy Barayong, Motiong of Western Samar Province at 10:50 a.m. last March 8.
Orense added the troops of 20th Infantry Battalion and Pinarican CAFGU Active Auxiliary (CAA) encountered around 15 NPA rebels in a 15-minute fire fight at Barangay Kailingan, San Jose, Northern Samar last March 7, around 7:30 a.m., which resulted in the recovery of assorted ammunitions of AK47 rifle, M1 Garand Rifle and M-16 rifle.
No casualties were reported on the government side but undetermined on the enemy side.
"The armed encounter is a result of reliable information relayed by the local populace to the military in the area," said Lt. Col. Noel Vestuir, Commanding Officer of 20th Infantry Battalion.
"These NPA rebels have been harassing the local populace, forcing to give in to their so-called revolutionary taxes in exchange for securing their communities," Vestuir added.
In a related event, the troops of 34th Infantry Battalion and 81st Reconnaissance Company overrun a temporary NPA camp after a 30-minute firefight against 25 NPA rebels in Palapag Complex, Northern Samar last March 4, 2013.
The encounter resulted in the seizure of the rebel camp and the recovery two M-16 rifles, two landmines, one rifle grenade, magazines/ammunitions for M-16 rifles and subversive documents.
Major General Gerardo Layug, commander of 8th ID, said the series of engagements by the military and the NPA rebels is a strong indicator that the people denounces the presence of these rebel group that hinder the attainment of peace and sustainable development in the region.
"8ID assures the public that we will pursue peace in every communities if the Region. We will act deliberately against all armed threats perpetrated by the NPA or any armed groups which hamper peace and development in the communities," Layug added.
He also said that the support and assistance of the local leaders and its populace to the government troops is a clear manifestation that the 'Bayanihan' spirit manifests in the communities.
"We will continue securing the communities against rebel influence and other armed threats, and we will be in close coordination with the local leaders and other stakeholders in ensuring peace in every community in the region," Layug added. (Leyte Samar Daily Express)