Friday, September 5, 2014

NPA Remnants killed in Abra rise to 6, firearms recovered now 13, Military leadership calls for NPA to bring down arms to save wounded rebels

The number of NPA remnants killed in a fierce firefight in Abra yesterday rose to six and authorities believe there could be more dead and wounded who might die if not given proper medical attention while firearms recovered by troops is now 13.

The gunbattle which started at 5:00AM until noon Sept 4 in Brgy Guiguinabang, Lacub, Abra is considered a major tactical victory for the AFP.

Elements of the 41st Infantry Battalion who engaged the NPA remnants were on pursuit operation and scouring the area when they found the still unidentified additional body and the five additional firearms believed to be left by wounded NPA or belonging to the dead ones who were possibly dragged by their comrades.

Four of the NPA killed were identified as Arnold Jaramillo a.k.a Mando, a high ranking NPA leader being the Secretary of the Abra Provincial Party Committee; Joel Banganan a.ka Ka Payas, another high ranking NPA leader being the CO of the Komite Larangang Gerilya North; next is Ronald Lang-ey Cocha and a certain Dumageng a.k.a Jess.  

The two other dead bodies, a male and a female are still unidentified as of latest report.

Recovered firearms include 8 - M16 armalite rifles, 2 - M653 baby armalite, 1-AK47, 1 Garand Rifle and 1- 45 cal pistol. Other items recovered are a laptop, a generator set, 2- handheld radios, a cellphone and many electronics and IT equipment; and subversive documents.

The bodies were transported to two Tamo Funeral Homes in Lagangilang and Tayum both in Abra so that they may be claimed by their relatives and be given decent burial.

Lt.Gen. Felicito Virgilio Trinidad, Commander of Northern Luzon Command appealed for the NPA leadership to “let the wounded bring down their arms so that our soldiers can give them emergency medical help and evacuate them to the hospital so that we can save their lives. We appeal to them to bring down their wounded comrades for medical treatment or if they cannot do it, they can contact the nearest AFP units so that our soldiers can bring the wounded to the hospital”.

“My prompt directive to the troops is to prioritize medical evacuation of any wounded NPA if found. We would like the NPA to realize that our soldiers treat them as fellow Filipinos and that the encounter was a result of their armed and bloody way of furthering their belief. We encourage them to shed that violent way and use peaceful means.”Lt.Gen Trinidad said.

“With this major tactical engagement, maybe  it’s time for the remaining NPA to rethink about their armed struggle, come out and join the mainstream society and collectively work for lasting peace, development and progress in our country.” Lt. Gen. Trinidad concluded.

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