THE top official of the Army's 4th Infantry Division (4ID) said focused military operations against the communist rebels will continue and will be intensified during the holidays.
Major General Franco Nemesio Gacal, 4ID commander, said the army will not let their guards down and military operations shall continue in Northern Mindanao and Caraga regions to ensure a safe and peaceful Christmas celebration.
Gacal made this pronouncement following the success of two military operations in Sitio San Jose, Barangay Durian, Las Nieves, Agusan del Norte on December 4 and in Mt. Obulan, Barangay Banglay, Lagonglong, Misamis Oriental, on Tuesday, December 10.
These operations resulted in the killing of two NPA rebels and recovery of nine firearms, assorted ammunition, laptops, medicines, food supplies and personal belongings after troops overran the supposed hideout of the communist guerillas.
The army identified the NPA members killed in the encounters as Mervin Namatidong, 20, resident of Sitio Simontanan, Esperanza, Agusan del Sur; and Benjie Tandayon, 24, from Sitio Lantad, Barangay Kibanban, Balingasag, Misamis Oriental.
Gacal attributed the success of the operations to the growing support of the public who provides significant information to the troops.
"Our deepest sympathy goes to the bereaved families of the dead NPA members. Your government had been continuously offering them (NPA) an option to have a peaceful life with their families if they surrender and embrace the life-changing ECLIP package especially that Christmas is nearing," Gacal said.
"As we come near the holidays, the focus military operations will be intensified to ensure a safe and peaceful Christmas celebration in Regions 10 and Caraga, we will not put our guards down,” Gacal added.