A FOUR-HOUR long intermittent firefight between Army troopers and around 50 suspected members of the New People's Army (NPA) led to the capture of the latter's camp in San Jose de Buan, Samar Wednesday, July 29, 2020.
Soldiers also recovered five M-16 assault rifles, hundreds of assorted ammunition, a generator set, electronic gadgets, food, medicines, medical paraphernalia and subversive documents during the encounter in Sitio Salvacion, Barangay San Nicolas around 1:30 p.m. Wednesday.
The Army said the NPA lair can accomodate 50 to 100 persons based on its structures.
The camp has 34 huts and a kitchen that can be used for huge food preparations.
The rebels also put up stiff resistance before withdrawing away, according to Major Joseph Sabas, civil-military operations officer of the 801st Infantry Brigade.
The troops discovered the camp after several residents complained about the presence of suspected rebels who are extorting money and food supply, the Army official said.
No soldier was wounded in the skirmish but authorities believe the rebels could have suffered numerous wounded, according to the report.
"While the NPA continues to harrass and abuse people, our soldiers will be more active in serving the masses. We thank the people and local officials of San Jose de Buan for renewing their support to our legitimate government and denying sanctuary to the NPA," said Brigadier General Camilo Ligayo, 801st Brigade commander, in a statement.
Lieutenant Colonel Reynaldo Balido Jr., commander of 87th Infantry Battalion, urged the wounded rebels "to surrender so as to be treated appropriately."
"There are many cases that their wounded end up dead and they just bury them in shallow graves or worse, they just leave them behind," said Balido.
Eastern Visayas, particularly the Samar Island, remains a hotbed of insurgency with the continued presence of NPA rebels. (SunStar Philippines)