4 NPA fighters killed, 9 nabbed in Bukidnon clash
By : Jigger Jerusalem Mindanao Today/10:02:10am 09/10/2021
Some of the members of the New People’s Army who were captured by the military following an armed encounter in Bukidnon recently. (Photo supplied)
CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – Four New People’s Army (NPA) fighters were killed while nine guerrillas were captured, including a 12-year-old child believed to be a part of the armed group, during an encounter between communist insurgents and state forces in Bukidnon on Sept. 8, the military said Thursday.
According to the report provided to the media by the Army’s 88th Infantry Battalion (88IB), the gunfight took place in a forested area in Barangay Mabuhay, San Fernando town, Bukidnon.
88IB said government soldiers also got hold of several high-powered firearms following the fighting, including three AK47 rifles, four M16 rifles, and an M203 grenade launcher.
According to Maj. Francisco Garello Jr., the Army’s 4th Infantry Division (4ID) spokesperson, prior to the encounter, soldiers responded to an information relayed to them by residents in the area of the presence of the NPA who were said to be conducting recruitment and extortion activities.
He said the group that personnel from the 88IB had clashed with belonged to the Guerrilla Front Malayag of the Sub-Regional Committee 2 of the North Central Mindanao Regional Committee led by a commander who military knew only as alias “Migz.”
Migz is said to be committee’s font secretary, Garello added.
Maj. Gen. Romeo Brawner Jr., 4ID commander, said the encounter lasted an hour.
“It is a running battle wherein our troops were eventually chasing after the CNTs who are scampering towards different directions after the initial firefight,” Brawner said, adding that the pursuit of the remaining members of the NPA unit is “still ongoing.”
4ID said Brawner has conveyed his condolences to the families of the killed rebels.
“The tragic demise of the said CNTs and the recruitment of a 12-year-old minor is a manifestation of the futility of the armed struggle. The series of victories against the CNTs these past weeks is a testament of the people’s trust and confidence to our soldiers,” he said.
CNTs refers to the “Communist NPA Terrorists,” the term the military has been using in identifying the Maoist guerrillas who have been engaging the government forces in the decades-old armed struggle.
“The people are fed up and tired of the never-ending violence and treachery perpetrated by the CTG including their wanton disregard of the International Humanitarian Law (IHL) in recruiting minors to bear arms. I assure you that they will not win against the government especially with the people on our side, as the people have long wanted to live in peace and collectively pursue development initiatives,” Brawner said.