AN AIRSTRIKE was launched by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) based in Bukidnon after a group of New People’s Army (NPA) rebels was sighted on Tuesday dawn, February 18, causing fear among the residents in the area.
Eastern Mindanao Command (Eastmincom) Public Information Office head Ezra Balagtey confirmed the incident Wednesday, February 19, saying the operation was developed after the 403rd Infantry Brigade (IBde) monitored movement of the rebels.
“This is brought about by na-monitor na consolidation ng mga NPA group sa Bukidnon and nagkaroon ng launch ng focused military operation ang 403rd Brigade and ‘yon nagkaroon ng engkwentro,” Lieutenant Colonel Balagtey said.
As of Wednesday, they have not received report on casualties following the encounter.
“This is close air support to protect and provide cover sa ating mga tropa na na-engkwentro and kaya nakita ninyo na may mga helicopter,” he said.
Balagtey added that NPAs were forced to hide in remote areas and boundaries of provinces and regions because of the focused military operations and collapsed of underground mass organization supporting the insurgents in the Eastmincom.
“Walang choice ang mga guerilla but to go to the deepest area ng kanilang guerilla bases na hindi na matao. Ito na-monitor natin na may consolidation ng grupo ng tri-boundaries ng Davao del Norte, Bukidnon, and Misamis Oriental,” Balagtey said.
In a Facebook post of a certain Jayford James Binayao on Tuesday morning at 6:24 a.m., he uploaded several videos of airstrikes by the Philippine Army against the NPA in Sitio Gabunan, Barangay Dumalaguing, Impasug-ong, Bukidnon.
In the post, residents were observed to have woken up by the series of blasts that were far from their area.