Two NPA rebels slain in clash with gov’t troops

TWO MEMBERS of the New Peoples’ Army died after a series of clashes with troops under the 403rd Infantry Brigade in the outskirts along the boundary of Misamis Oriental and Bukidnon on Mar. 30 and 31, 2018.

Capt. Norman Tagros, the civil-military operations (CMO) officer of 403rd IB, told TIMES that there were three clashes against the NPAs that took place, around 1:30 p.m., 3:15 p.m., and 4:20 p.m. on Mar. 30, 2018, at Barangay Minalwang, Claveria, Misamis Oriental with soldiers from the 65th Infantry Battalion (65IB) and 1st Special Forces Battalion (1SFBn), both under 403rd Infantry Brigade.

Tagros said the successive clashes resulted in the seizure of an NPA encampment and the death of a male rebel, who wasn’t identified as of press time.

The soldiers recovered one bandolier with four magazines and live ammunition of M16, M14, and AK-47 rifles, along with a 20-meter wire for an IED.

Another clash with the NPAs took place at 12:25 p.m. on March 31 with the 43rd Division Reconnaissance Company in the same area. Found in the site was another unidentified body of a rebel. Also recovered were one M16 rifle and one M1 Garand rifle.

Brig. Gen. Eric Vinoya, commander of the 403rd Infantry Brigade, expressed his condolences to the families and relatives of the two slain rebels.

“This could not have happened if they heeded our call of surrender,” Vinoya said. “Hence, I once again call upon the CPP-NPA terrorists, especially those who were wounded in the recent encounters with our troops, to come down.”

“We will help you seek proper medical attention along with our local officials and return to the mainstream society,” he added.

The 403rd Brigade launched wide-scale operations in relation to the just concluded 49th NPA anniversary. Vinoya credited the help of the residents in tipping off the activities of the rebels operating in the area.

Maj. Gen. Ronald Villanueva, commander of the 4th Infantry Division, said the cooperation of the residents is “the reason the NPA terrorists’ current degrading number.”

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