Still reeling from a setback brought by the capture of 10 rebels on Sept. 8, the New People’s Army (NPA) in Bukidnon figured anew in two clashes with Army soldiers that resulted in the death of one, arrest of four including 2 minors, and seizure of eight firearms.
Brig. Gen. Ferdinand T Barandon, 403rd Brigade commander, in a press release on Saturday, confirmed the firefights with NPA rebels in Talakag and Valencia City in Bukidnon on Sept. 9 and 10, respectively, a day after a clash in Barangay Mabuhay, San Fernando, Bukidnon.
Barandon said soldiers of the 88th Infantry Battalion headed by Lt. Col. James Christian Vingno engaged more or less 10 NPA rebels led by one “alias DR” of Platoon Bagsik, Guerilla Front (GF) Malayag of the Sub Regional Committee 2 (SRC) of the North Central Mindanao Regional Committee (NCMRC) in a firefight at around 7 am of Sept. 10 in Purok 10, Sitio Narulang, Barangay Laligan, Valencia City, Bukidnon.
A 30-minute firefight resulted in the capture of four NPA rebels, and seizure of six firearms – 3 M16 rifles and three AR15 rifles.
Two of the 4 captured NPA rebels were minors identified only as alias RK, 15 years old, and Jason, 17.
Saddened by the unfortunate loss of life, Maj. Gen. Romeo S Brawner Jr., commander of 4ID, expressed alarm over the involvement of two more minors in the Sept. 10 armed encounter.
On Sept. 8, three minors were among the 10 captured NPA rebels during an armed encounter between soldiers and communist terrorists belonging to the same Guerilla Front Malayag of SRC2, NCMRC in a forested area in Barangay Mabuhay, San Fernando, Bukidnon.
Brawner Jr. earlier decried the NPA’s wanton violation of the children’s human rights and the International Humanitarian Law in recruiting minors.
He appealed to local government officials to extend assistance to the captured rebels and the fatality including their families.