ARMY personnel of the 30th Infantry Battalion (30th IB) recovered firearms following a 30-minute firefight with members of the New People's Army (NPA) in the mountainous part of Sitio Tigbao, Barangay Balite in San Francisco, Surigao del Norte on June 14, 2022.

The troops seized one M16 gun, two illegal explosives, 195 various types of firearm ammunition, personal equipment, subversive documents, two poncho tents, three backpacks, medical equipment, one-half sack of rice, nine pieces of batteries, one electrical tester and two rolls of electric wire.

According to the military report, concerned citizens of the said sitio informed the soldiers of alleged intimidation and extortion conducted by an armed group in their area.

The 30th IB troops conducted a community patrol in the area to confirm the said allegation when members of the NPA believed to be the Armed Propaganda Unit (SYP) 16B of the Guerilla Front (GF) 16 of North Eastern Mindanao Regional Committee (NEMRC) fired at them. The troops fired back resulting in a 30-minute firefight.

The armed NPA members then ran away with their wounded comrade. There were no casualties on the government side.

Lieutenant Colonel Ryan Charles Callanta, commander of the 30th IB, expressed his gratitude for the trust and support given by the civilians.

“Nagpapasalamat kami sa tiwala at suporta ng mamamayan sa pagbibigay ng impormasyon tungkol sa presensya ng armadong grupo dahil sa kanilang pakikipagtulungan at kooperasyon sa ating kampanya laban sa terorismo. Ito ay nagpapakita lamang na ayaw na nila ng kaguluhan at pang-aabuso sa pamamagitan ng ekstorsyon at pananakot,” Callanta said.

“Muli kaming nananawagan sa mga natitirang miyembro ng NPA na sana'y pakinggan nila ang hinaing ng kanilang pamilya na bumalik na sa kanilang piling at mamuhay ng tahimik," he added. (SunStar Philippines)