AUTHORITIES recovered a total of 12 high powered firearms (HPFA) after an encounter with the New People's Army (NPA) at Sitio Inupuan in Barangay Mainit, Nabunturan, Compostela Valley, Saturday morning.
A cadaver believed to be a casualty on the NPA side was also recovered in the area.
Soldiers belonging to the 25th Infantry Battalion (IB) and police personnel from the Compostela Valley Police Provincial Public Safety Company (CVPPSC) engaged in a firefight with some 20 NPA rebels from the Guerilla Front 27 under alias Lipi after they received report the latter's group was camping in the area.
After the 20-minute gunbattle, the NPA rebels managed to escape, leaving one of their dead members.
Firearms seized were eight M16 rifles, four AK47 rifles, seven improvised grenades, one ICOM radio, medical paraphernalia, and documents.
Lieutenant Colonel Ismael P. Mandanas Jr., commander of the 25th IB, in his statement, lauded the coordination made by the residents of the area by reporting the presence of the NPA rebels.
"The desire of the people in the community to get rid of the NPA rebels who conduct extortion activities, resulted to this decisive encounter," Mandanas said.
Mandanas said the vital information shared by the residents resulted for a faster response by the police and the army.
"This incident manifests what our collective effort can achieve in winning peace in our country," Mandanas said.
Colonel Macairog Alberto, commander of the 1001st Brigade, said the army and the police are still conducting pursuit operations against the fleeing rebels.
"This is a big blow to the communist group whose numbers are steadily diminishing due to our intensified operations," Alberto said.