MINERVA BC NEWMAN
CAMP LAPULAPU, Cebu City– The Visayas Command (VISCOM) sustains its gains in its fight against the CPP-NPA in the Visayas region with the recent encounters, surrender of NPA terrorists and recovering weapons and war materials in Iloilo and Samar in July this year.
Members of the 61st Infantry Battalion under the 301st Infantry Brigade of Joint Task Force Spear neutralized two NPA terrorists and seized several war materials during an encounter with a group of NPA terrorists under Southern Front of the Komiteng Rehiyon Panay (KR Panay) in Brgy Ayabang, Leon, Iloilo.
The recovered war materiel includes one M16 Rifle; two Shotguns; one Cal. 45 pistol; 11 cellphones; a laptop computer; a tablet; four backpacks containing subversive documents and several extortion letters.
In Northern Samar, two NPA leaders fell, as the combined elements of the 4th Scout Ranger Battalion and 19th Infantry Battalion under the 803rd Infantry Brigade of Joint Task Force (JTF) Storm conducted a focused military operation encountered a group of NPA terrorists under Front Committee 1 (FC1) of Sub-Regional Committee Emporium (SRC Emporium) in Brgy Cagbigajo, Pambujan, Northern Samar.
The firefight lasted for about 20 minutes and resulted in the death of the two NPA Leaders who were later identified as Jerry Lutao alias Nadi, the Head of the Front Operation Command (FOC) and Sandatahang Yunit Propaganda (SYP); and Brando Oblado alias Idol, the Leader of Squad 2, both under FC1 of SRC Emporium.
Recovered war materiel included two M16 rifles, one M14 rifle, personal belongings, and several subversive documents. The latest debacle of the CPP-NPA is the fourth huge setback they suffered in six days. From July 17 to 22, five NPA terrorists died during the encounters and 10 firearms were recovered.
Meanwhile, one soldier was wounded during the encounter and he was immediately evacuated to the nearest medical institution for treatment and is now in stable condition.
Army negotiates the surrender of two NPA terrorists in Borongan City, Eastern Samar
In two separate engagements on July 23, members of the 78th Infantry Battalion under the 802nd Infantry Brigade of Joint Task Force (JTF) Storm successfully negotiated the surrender of two NPA terrorists in Borongan City, Eastern Samar.
The surrendered NPA personalities were both members of Apoy Platoon under the NPA’s Sub-Regional Committee Sesame (SRC Sesame) of the Eastern Visayas Regional Party Committee (EVRPC). They yielded several war materiel including, one M16A1 rifle; one M16 Bushmaster rifle; 12 assorted M16 magazine assemblies; and hundreds of 5.56 mm live ammunition.
On the same day, members of the 20th Infantry Battalion under the 803rd Infantry Brigade of JTF Storm successfully recovered an arms cache in Barangay Aguinaldo, Las Navas, Northern Samar that contained several war materiel including, two M16 rifles; four assorted M16 magazines; 125 rounds of 5.56 mm live ammunition; and two improvised hand grenades.
The recovery of the arms cache was made possible through an incessant engagement with the former rebel who returned to the folds of the law last July 22.
“With the pronouncement of our President to grant amnesty to former rebels, we will sustain our relentless focused military operations to pressure the ranks of the CPP-NPA for them to lay down their arms and return to the folds of the law,” Lieutenant General Benedict M Arevalo PA, VISCOM Commander commended the troops for their unrelenting drive to free the people from the menace of the CPP-NPA.
Arevalo said that the AFP remains committed to end the local communist armed conflict in the region as soon as possible. He urged the few remaining members of the CPP-NPA to heed the call of the government for peace, unity, and reconciliation.
“We abhor the idea of bloodshed and as much as possible, we do not want to see another Filipino dying for the sake of false ideology. Follow the lead of your former comrades who are now living a peaceful and progressive lives under the care of our government. Lay down your arms and return to the folds of the law while you still can,” Arevalo concluded.