Apayao, Philippines – Firearms and other personal items were seized in two consecutive encounters between the government troops and the Communist Party of the Philippines – New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) in Barangays Mallig and Upper Atok in Flora this Sunday, March 14.
Reports from the 17th Infantry Battalion, say the government troops conducted combat operations in Barangay Mallig after residents reported the presence of alleged CPP-NPA members asking for money and and food from the community.
During the operation, it was reported that the government troops encountered more or less 20 rebels that resulted to a 15-minute exchange of fire, eventually the CPP-NPA retreated. Meanwhile, another skirmish erupted in Barangay Upper Atok where the rebels retreated just the same.
The military reports no injury on their side, but has seen blood at the scene of incident and believed that probably the rebels may have sustained injuries.
The troops also recovered 3 M16A1 and 5.56mm M653 rifles along with medical items, documents, bag packs among others left by the rebels during the encounters.
The group of rebels the military encountered were allegedly members of the West Front Committee, Komiteng Probinsya Cagayan, and Komiteng Rehiyon-Cagayan Valley.
Meanwhile, 17IB Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Colonel Angelo Saguiguit, in a press release, thanked the community for reporting the presence of the rebels, saying that events related to peace and order is not only the concern of the police and military since they also need the support of the communities specially those who are directly affected.
“Nararapat lang na tayo’y magtulungan upang mapangalagaan at mabantayan natin ang katiwasayan sa ating mga lugar lalong-lalo na para sa ating mga anak. Sana ay magpatuloy ang ganitong pagtutulungan natin upang tuluyan ng mawasakan ang problema sa insurhensiya,” he said.
It could be recalled that the CPP-NPA are no longer welcome in Flora after they were declared Persona Non Grata by the locals.
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