PINUKPUK, Kalinga -- Army troopers recently discovered two camps of alleged New People’s Army (NPA) in the municipality of Balbalan after intensified combat operations that forced rebels to abandon their base.
Second Lieutenant Edgar Jeric Gonzales of the 50th Infantry Battalionsaid the first camp was discovered on February 14 at barangay Ab-abaan, Balbalan while the other was on Feb. 23 at Sitio Guin-ang, Dao-angan.
The discovery of the camps was based on tips from civilians who pinpointed the general vicinity where armed dissidents splintered into small groups to evade government soldiers.
The 50IB resumed the conduct of focused military operations in their area of responsibility following the lifting of the unilaterally-declared ceasefire on Feb. 4. Pres. Duterte directed the military to launch an all-out-war after the failed peace talk with the NDF-CPP-NPA.
Earlier, soldiers overran a rebel camp in a remote village in Asipulo town in Ifugao following a gun battle with the NPA.
Lieutenant Colonel Gulliver Señires, 50IB Commanding Officer, lamented the cancellation of the peace talk but said they will still pursue local peace talks provided the NPAs are sincere, present sensible terms, and the right people are involved.
While no peace talk is in the offing, Duterte’s all-out-war policy will be sustained with public assurance that human rights are respected, international humanitarian law and rules of engagement are observed, he assured.
Señires reiterated the call for NPA members including the ”Militia ng Bayan” to surrender and avail of the benefits under the Comprehensive Local Integration Program or CLIP.
CLIP offers P7,000 re-integration assistance; P15,000 immediate assistance; P50,000 livelihood, remuneration of surrendered firearm, and PhilHealth membership. (Peter Balocnit/PIA–CAR)