A SUSPECTED rebel was killed in a 15-minute firefight against the military in Barangay Besigan, some 50 kilometers away from downtown Cagayan de Oro Wednesday, February 12, barely five days after the local government launched the Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (CDOTF-Elcac) in Barangay Tignapoloan.
Troops under the 65th Infantry were conducting security operation when they encountered around 10 communist insurgents believed to be members of the Sub-Regional Command (SRC) 5 of North Central Mindanao Regional Command (NCMRC).
The military said the operation was based on the collective information from the community that the NPA came down and asked for food supplies.
After the encounter, the troops recovered the dead body of a suspected rebel who was left behind by his fleeing comrades.
Also recovered from the clash site were two M16 rifles and an M4 carbine, several ammos, medical supplies and two backpacks containing personal belongings of the NPA.
The cadaver was turned over to the Cagayan de Oro City Police Office (Cocpo) for identification.
65IB commander Lt. Col. Benjamin Pajarito commended the community for tipping soldiers about the presence of the rebels.
“The success of our operation was due to the cooperation of everyone in the community who are fed up with the deceptive tactics of terrorists, threatening the peace and security, and the unwavering efforts of our troops,” Pajarito said.
“Unfortunately, we are saddened on the death of one NPA terrorist during this encounter who could have availed of the government’s E-CLIP had he decided to surrender. Let us therefore encourage one another to join the fight to end the local communist armed conflict,” he added.