Five members of the New People’s Army were killed in an encounter with government troops in the boundary of Talakag, Bukidnon and Tagoloan II in Lanao del Sur on Tuesday morning.
The firefight erupted when elements of the 1st Special Forces Battalion (SFBn) were conducting a security operation and encountered around 30 NPAs at around 9:00 a.m. in the vicinity of Barangay Gayakay, Tagoloan II. The first firefight lasted for one hour.
A second encounter happened at around 11:00 a.m. of the same day with the same armed group, which lasted for about 30 minutes.
Recovered from the encounter site were five cadavers of the slain NPA, and six high-powered firearms composed of three M16 rifles, two Garand rifles, and one M14 rifle.
Lt. Col. Vercisio San Jose Jr, 1st SFBn Commanding Officer, confirmed that there was no casualty on the government side.
Brigadier Gen. Ferdinand Barandon, commander of the 403rd Infantry Brigade, said in a statement that the incident resulted from the community’s growing support to the Army, as citizens have been reporting activities of the NPA in their area.
Moreover, Major Gen. Andres Centino, commander of the 4th Infantry Division, said security operations would continue against the NPAs until they surrender to the government or abandon the armed struggle.
“Again, we are calling the remaining NPAs to lay down your arms, join the government’s call for peace, and avail of the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP) so you will have a peaceful and productive life with your family,” Centino said.He also extended condolences to the families of the killed rebels and assured them of a decent burial. SOVEREIGNPH