The online news portal of TV5
CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY—Two armed combatants, believed to be leftist rebels, were killed in a clash with government troops in an upland village in Misamis Oriental, the army’s Fourth Infantry “Diamond” Division (4ID) spokesperson announced here over the weekend.
At around 5:00 p.m. of August 2, army troops fought at least 30-armed rebels at Barangay Ampianga, Sugbongcogon town, Misamis Oriental, Lieutenant Colonel Eugenio Julio Osias IV, commander of the 4th Civil-Military Operation Battalion and 4ID spokesperson said on Sunday.
Two rebels were killed while government troops under the 58th Infantry Battalion of the 4ID suffered no casualty, Osias said in a phone interview.
“We believe the armed group your 58th IB encountered last Thursday afternoon belonged to the NPA’s Sandatahang Platun Pangpropaganda III of Guerrilla Front 4B since the area is within the northeastern Mindanao regional committee’s area,” said Osias.
Troops recovered the bodies of the two NPA fatalities in the encounter site. The army also recovered one M1 Garand and one Carbine rifles, and about 30 backpacks that contained various “subversive materials.”
“Our troops on the ground said they discovered trails of blood as they were pursuing the withdrawing rebels. This indicates that there may be more casualties from the NPA,” Osias said.
Division Commanding General, Major General Victor Felix, for his part, said that although they treat the encounter as an “operational success we will be happier if these NPAs had surrendered.”
“The loss of lives is the least that we will wish to happen. Your soldiers are here to serve but sometimes it is inevitable that other lives must be taken for the sake of more people,” Felix said in a text message, over the weekend.
Brigadier General Romeo Gapuz of the 403rd Infantry Brigade said he has ordered his troops to pursue the Maoist guerrillas. He claimed the rebels were reportedly extorting money when government troops chanced upon them.
“I appeal to every Filipino to help us by reporting presence of armed rebels and also to convince our brothers to lay their arms and surrender,” Gapuz said in an emailed statement, over the weekend.
Osias feared that peace might remain elusive if the armed conflict between the Communist Party of the Philippine’s armed wing and government troops continue.
“We appeal to the NPAs to surrender and if they really love the very people they said they are serving they should refrain from conducting atrocities against the people,” he said.
The NPA has been fighting a “protracted people’s war” against the Philippine government for over four decades.