Bontoc, Mt. Province – Two members of a Communist Terrorist Group (CTG) died while several firearms and explosives were recovered after an encounter with the government troops in Barangay Mainit, Bontoc, this September 28.
The 5th Infantry Division reported that the operation started when the troops went to verify the information given by the locals that there were rebels in their area.
Upon reaching the area, around 10 CTG members fired at the government troops, resulting in a 30-minute firefight that led to the death of 2 rebels identified as Ernesto Lucaben Jr. alias ‘Ashley/Lando’ and Wilfredo Gaayon alias ‘Jaz’.
Moreover, government troops also recovered a piece of M14 rifle; 5 magazines of M14 rifle loaded with 70 rounds of ammunition; 3 pieces of AK79 rifle magazine loaded with 20 rounds of ammunition; 9 pieces of anti-personnel mines; 2 rifle grenades; 2 hand grenades; 2pieces blasting caps, wires, medicines, and other personal belongings of the CTG.
No one was harmed on the part of the military during the encounter.
5ID Commander, Major General Laurence Mina warned that Barangay Mainit, Mt. Province is not a place for the NPA to hide, adding the community is giving information to the authorities about their presence in their area.
“We wish to see you start a new life. And so, I am appealing to the remaining members of the CTGs to return to the folds of the law and avail the assistance of the government under the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP),” he stated.
Meantime, on the same date, there was also an encounter between the military and the remaining members of CTG who are still on the run in Barangay Dungeg, Sta. Teresita, Cagayan, leading to the recovery of high-powered firearms and other belongings of the group.
The encounter was said to be the third incident since the combat operation against the East Front Komiteng Probinsiya Cagayan in the mountainous part of Barangay Dungeg last September 21 that led to the death of high-ranking NPA personalities.
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