Monday, February 6, 2012
BALER, Aurora, February 6, 2012-The 48th Infantry “Guardians” Battalion, Philippine Army killed two rebels today while conducting security operation in Quirino province which resulted to the recovery of several high powered firearms after the clash.
7th Infantry “Kaugnay” Division spokesman Major Enrico Gil Ileto said in a cellphone interview that soldiers were fired upon by remnants of the New People’s Army (NPA) forcing the troops to return fire around 9:18 in the morning today.
Ileto said that the rebels that were hit were remnants from the insurgency free provinces of Nueva Ecija and Aurora who withdrew to Quirino province.
Responding to a tip from a civilian in the area, the government troops under 48th IB Commanding Officer Ltc Kurt A Decapia immediately proceeded to the area to verify the presence of armed men at Sitio Sibbagan, Brgy. Landingan, Nagtipunan, Quirino.
Recovered from the encounter site were one M16 rifle with M203 grenade launcher, one M16 rifle, one M14, one M79 grenade launcher and one laptop computer with high intelligence value.
The soldiers in the area are now coordinating with local government units and agencies for the identification of two (2) dead NPA members who were left behind by their comrades.
Colonel Felicito Trinidad, chief of the 702nd brigade said that the troops discovered an abandoned camp of the same NPA group several days before the encounter today.
“It was abandoned after the NPA saw the presence of troops conducting a medical mission in the area,” Trinidad said, adding that the rebels have been on the run for several days now. “They are the same group which we hit last year and suffered the same losses,” he furthered.
Decapia said that a German non-governmental organization ‘operations blessing’ has been working with them for the past several days bringing medicines, livelihood such as fishnet for fishermen and even brought wheelchairs for the disabled. “Their presence benefited more than 20,000 of our constituents” he furthered.
Decapia added that the tip came from a civilian who knew that the NPA’s where about to disrupt the medical mission.
No casualty was reported on the government side.
As of this writing the military are still in hot pursuit operation against the group of rebels allegedly led by a certain Rommel Tucay Bustamante, alias ka Isaac, a secretary of the Sangay ng Partido sa Platoon North Aurora operating here and in Quirino province.
Two choppers are on standby at Camp Ravina, Brgy. Sabang, Baler, Aurora to get the cadaver of the two rebels; however they were not able to recover the body of the victims due to zero visibility in the area. (Jason de Asis)
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