TROOPS of the 23rd Infantry Battalion (IB) found an alleged New People’s Army (NPA) hideout after an encounter in Barangay Guinabsan, Buenavista, Agusan del Norte last week.
The NPA hideout can accommodate at least 40 people, and was discovered after an encounter against 30 NPA rebels believed to be members of Sandatahang Yunit Pamproganda (SYP) SIKOP of Guerrilla 4A of the North Central Mindanao Regional Committee (NCMRC).
The encounter lasted for about 20 minutes, the military said. The NPA left behind traces of bloodstains, war material, medicines, terrorists’ documents and personal belongings.
Residents said the NPA asked them for money and food and threatened to kill them if they report to authorities.
Lieutenant Colonel Francisco Molina Jr., commanding officer of 23IB, lauded the residents of Buenavista for standing up against the rebels.
“The CPP-NPA Terrorists (CNTs) brought hardships and misery to the people. They destroy families, hamper peace, and prevent development. However, your 23IB will never get tired in fulfilling its mandate to protect the people and secure the land”, Molina said.
On his part, Colonel Maurito Licudine, 402nd Brigade commander, attributed the success of the operation to the weary residents who are reporting the NPA activities in the area.
“The success of our security operations in Guinabsan came from the reports of weary residents about the CNT presence who according to them have caused them fear for the longest time. With the people themselves wanting to drive away the CNTs, we will be even more relentless in pursuing these terrorist until they cease from their terroristic activities,” he said.
Licudine said the bloodstains seen at the encounter site indicates that the NPA suffered severe wounds during the encounter. (PJ Orias)