A SUSPECTED member of the New People’s Army (NPA) was arrested following the encounter between the troopers of the Philippine Army and the rebels in Sitio Bunga, Barangay Salong, Kabankalan City, Negros Occidental Tuesday afternoon, March 12.
Arrested was Arnel Sairot, 21, of Escalante City.
Colonel Benedict Arevalo, 303rd Infantry Brigade Commander, in a statement, said the troops of the 15th Infantry Battalion (IB) were conducting combat operations when they encountered more or less nine fully armed terrorists in Sitio Bunga at 5 p.m.
Arevalo said they were informed that there were NPA extortion activities in the area.
The troops engaged the rebels in an intermittent firefight that lasted five minutes, after which the NPA members scampered to different directions.
Arevalo noted that while the troops were conducting hot pursuit and clearing operations, Sairot was captured in the area.
The troops recovered from Sairot’s possession a 9 mm pistol, an improvised shotgun, a hand grenade, an Icom radio, two hammocks and two cellphones.
They also recovered NPA extortion letters for construction companies, one NPA training Certificate of Completion, materials for the fabrication of improvised firearms and other subversive documents.
Arevalo said there was no casualty on the government side and a still undetermined number casualties on the NPA’s side.
“This only proves that the Communist Party of the Philippines, NPA and the National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF) is an extortionist terrorist organization. The regular NPAs are only being used to do the difficult and dirty works in the countryside while their leaders and political officers are enjoying the fruits of their extortion activities, living luxuriously and comfortably in the cities. That's why I am calling for the NPAs to rethink their actual situation and surrender in groups so that they may be able to live normal lives again,” he said.
Arevalo added the NPAs are just being manipulated by the CPP-NDF. (MAP)