60th IB soldiers, NPA clash

SOLDIERS of the 60th Infantry Battalion engaged communist rebels in a firefight in Barangay Malinao, Laak, Compostela Valley on Wednesday.

1Lt. Irene Rivera, acting civil military operations officer of 60th infantry Battalion, said the clash started around 4:15 a.m. where army troopers engaged about 40 NPA rebels reportedly belonging to Guerilla Front 34 (GF 34) under Ka Iros or Mitsel of Southern Mindanao Regional Committee (SMRC).

The platoon Howitzer, Charlie Battery, 2nd Field Altillery Battery (2FAB) provided indirect fire support for the troops.

Rivera said there was no soldier hurt in the clash. The troops and the local police conducted clearing operation in the area after the clash. Checkpoints have been mounted in various access points to capture the escaping rebels.

Meanwhile, Mayor Antonio Libuangan called for the activation of an incident command post under the Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office.

Different departments of the municipal government, concerned line agencies and the Civil-Military Operations unit of 60IB have already been alerted to deliver immediate assistance to families affected by hostilities.

Lt. Col. Emmanuel A. Canilla, commander of 60th IB, ensured the public that his troops will strictly follow standard operating procedures, act only on legal orders, and put primacy on human rights in the ongoing fight to quell atrocities committed by rebels.

Canilla said the troops were acting on reports that the rebels conducted extortion activities and threatening communiities in the area.

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