MEMBERS of the 94th Infantry Battalion based in Negros Oriental have foiled an attempt allegedly by the New People's Army (NPA) to stage another attack in Guihulngan City over the weekend.
A report from the 3rd Infantry Division (3ID) of the Philippine Army based in Jamindan, Capiz revealed Monday, August 12, that during the conduct of a security patrol in Barangay Balogo in Guihulngan City, soldiers recovered a machine gun allegedly owned by the NPA.
The troops, while on a security patrol in the area, came across five fully-armed individuals wearing camouflage uniforms, said Captain Cenon Pancito III, chief of the 3rd Division Public Affairs Office of the 3ID.
Pancito said the troops tried to pursue the unidentified armed men who immediately fled to different directions.
The troops searched the area and found a KG9 sub-machine gun, one magazine, and 24 rounds of 9-mm ball ammunition.
Lieutenant Colonel Randy Pagunuran, 94th IB commanding officer, was quoted as saying that his troops were conducting "Focused Military Operation" following an intelligence report and tips from civilians about the NPA presence and recruitment activities in the area.
The Army believes the armed men had planned to launch an attack as a form of tactical offense against the Balogo CAA Patrol base.
"We will be relentless in our operations; we will give them no chance of recruiting innocent children to do the dirty work for them. Exploiting the youth's innocence to become criminals is even tantamount to violation of RA 7610 which provides children with special protection against exploitation," Pagunuran said.
Meanwhile, Major General Dinoh Dolina, commander of the Army's 3rd Infantry (Spearhead) Division, cited the importance of maintaining a relationship with the community, saying their participation, such as providing accurate information, "denies them of space to hide, plan and carry out terroristic plans."
Further, Dolina urged the remaining members of the NPA to return to the fold of the law and take advantage of the government's livelihood program.
"Give peace a chance, we will work with other stakeholders to ensure your safety and well-being and that of your family. We will make it sure that you will receive all the benefits offered by the government," he was quoted in the report as saying. (PNA)