A PREGNANT woman, believed to be a member of the New People’s Army (NPA), was reportedly wounded in a clash with government soldiers in Impasug-ong, Bukidnon, over the weekend.

The military identified the wounded NPA rebel as Susan Guaynon, 22, who is five months pregnant.

Troops under the 8th Infantry Battalion (8IB) encountered some 40 NPA combatants belonging to the Headquarters Force NEO Compaq of North Central Mindanao Regional Committee (NMCRC) around 2:00 p.m., Saturday, April 14, in a forested area near Sitio Ulayanon, Barangay Kalabugao,

Impasug-ong town.

The military said Guay-non was slightly wounded on the forehead and was abandoned by her comrades after the 20- minute firefight.

No casualties on the side of the government troops while the military believed that more of their enemies incurred injuries as indicated by the blood stains seen along their withdrawal routes.

Seized at the battle site were several high-powered guns such as rifles in different calibers, air gun, and 30 backpacks filled with subversive documents and personal belongings.

On the other hand, the troops have applied first aid and attended medical needs to the pregnant NPA member, who is now in stable condition.

“We will inform the direct family of Susan and will see to it that she receives the medical treatment needed in coordination with the local government of Impasugong and the province of Bukidnon. It is to show that the government respects Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law,” said Lieutenant Colonel Ronald Illana, Commanding Officer of 8th Infantry Battalion.

In a statement, the 403rd Infantry Brigade said it continues the relentless Focused Military Operations in its area of responsibility in response to the repeated reports of threat and extortion activities of the NPA from the local residents in the communities.

“It is shameful that NPA terrorists and leaders keep on recruiting members with sweet and promising words, yet they fail to look into the welfare of their own members - leaving a wounded and pregnant woman in the mountains after the clash with 8IB troops. They should be the one looking after her especially that she is pregnant and she needs monthly check-up,” 403IB commander Brigadier General Eric Vinoya said.

The military said the Headquarters Force NEO Compaq is the security in-charge of the executive committee of the NCMRC.

The military also claimed that the said group was responsible for the killing of former Impasug-ong town mayor Mario Okinlay last July 2, 2014 and the murder of three unarmed 8IB soldiers last February 1, 2017 in Malaybalay City, Bukidnon, the reason why President Rodrigo Duterte terminated the government’s unilateral ceasefire declaration.

“The 4th Infantry Division supports our Commander-in-Chief in the resumption of peace talks. Meanwhile, soldiers continue its mandate of securing the Filipino people from intimidation and threat brought by NPA terrorists in the hinterlands. I call on the leadership of CPP-NPA terrorists to show sincerity this time on the President’s goal to achieve a peaceful nation. You have been calling for the resumption of peace talks, but always failed to show sincerity,” further said Major General Ronald Villanueva, Commander of Army’s 4th Infantry Division.