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National

Rebel dies, 3 nabbed as NPAs torch P20-M construction gear for bridge, clash with soldiers

InterAksyon.com
The online news portal of TV5

MANILA, Philippines - An alleged New People's Army (NPA) rebel was killed and three others arrested following a clash with soldiers pursuing a group of construction firm raiders in San Miguel, Surigao del Sur Wednesday morning. 2nd Lt. Hazel Tabago, commanding officer of the 41st Civil Military Operations (CMO) company of the Philippine Army, said troops from the 36th Infantry Battalion in hot pursuit of a group that torched construction equipment in a government project clashed with 15 NPA rebels in Sitio Kiskis, Siagao, San Miguel town at around 8 a.m. The 30-minute firefight left one unidentified NPA rebel dead. Troops also recovered a sniper rifle. Tabago said three persons tagged as NPA rebels were put under the custody of local authorities, but their names have been withheld for "operational security reasons." The clash stemmed from an earlier attack blamed on the NPA, which burned down P20 million worth of construction equipment that was used to renovate a bridge linking the remote town of San Miguel, Surigao del Sur to the major centers in Caraga region. Caraga police said around 200 rebels burned down construction equipment of Concepcion Basic Builders Inc., owned by Arthur Ong in Sitio Cabtic, Poblacion, at around 10 p.m. Tuesday. “Armed rebels belonging to Guerilla Front 30, North Eastern Mindanao Regional Committee of the New People’s Army burned down construction equipment of Concepcion Basic Builders Incorporated (CBBI) owned by Mr. Arthur Ong-o at about 10:20 in the evening yesterday,” Tabago said. Burned were two dump trucks, payloader, backhoe, generator set with a welding machine, crane, concrete vibrator and chainsaw. Soldiers from the 36th Infantry Battalion conducted hot pursuit, leading to the second encounter that resulted in the killing of a rebel and capture of three others. Brig. Gen. Romeo Gapuz, acting commander of the 4th Infantry Division, slammed the NPA raid. “If these NPAs are really fighting for the good of the masses and the cause of the poor, they could have opted for a more diplomatic and peaceful means by pushing for policy changes and revision in proper fora and venues instead of taking up arms,” Gapuz said.
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