CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Misamis Oriental — At least two CPP-NPA terrorists (CNTs) including a bombmaker died and an army soldier was hurt in a series of firefights from Monday to Tuesday at Brgy. Banglay, Lagonglong in the said province.
The 403rd Infantry Brigade, 4th Infantry Division, PA which directed the operation identified one of the casualties as Odelo Compas alias Sapayanan, said to be a functional staff for Explosives/Ordnance and Production of Guerrilla Front 4B, North Central Mindanao Regional Command (NCMRC), CPP-NPA which produced Improvised Explosive Devices including the internationally-banned landmines.
The second slain CNT member was yet to be identified as of this writing.
The identity of the wounded soldier was withheld pending notification of his immediately family.
He was evacuated to Camp Evangelista Station Hospital in Cagayan de Oro City about 10am on Monday and is now on stable condition.
The two CNTs died during the first encounter about 9am on Sunday at the vicinity of Polo, Sitio Kamansi, Brgy. Banglay where operating troops recovered two AK-47 and one M16 rifles.
According to an initial report, elements of 4th Scout Ranger Battalion, PA led by Ltc Luntok under the operational control of the 403rd Infantry Brigade, was on combat operation when they encountered some 30 fully armed CNTs.
Firefight reportedly lasted about 25 minutes before the enemy withdrew towards southwest direction.
As troops continued to pursue the enemies, another 20-minute firefight broke out about 1:45pm of same day near Sitio Bayhutao of same village.
It was in the second encounter that a soldier was wounded.
During clearing operation, troops seized an enemy encampment with 20 makeshift bunkers that can accommodate some 50 people, and recovered one unit of M203 grenade launcher, one unit of 12-gauge shotgun, one unit of M635 Carbine, one unit of air gun, ammunition, sniper scope, three backpacks with personal belongings and documents with intelligence value.
Meanwhile, operating troops believed that several CNTs were also wounded during the series of clashes as evidenced by the bloodstains they found along the enemies’ routes of withdrawal.
Likewise, the 403rd Brigade gathered human intelligence on the engaged CNTs carrying their wounded comrades as they withdrew from the scenes of encounter.
Combat clearing operation was still going on as of this reporting.
Lagonglong has been a traditional NPA guerrilla zone in eastern Misamis Oriental.
In a press statement released by the 4th Division Public Affairs Office Tuesday morning, Brigadier General Eric Vinoya, Commander of the 403rd Infantry Brigade said, “I am extending my condolences to the friends and families of NPA terrorists who died in the clash with government troops. It have not resulted into this if only these terrorists heeded the call of the government to lay down their arms and go back to the folds of the law.”
For his part, Major General Ronald Villanueva, 4ID commander, declared: “NPA terrorists are the reason why there are delays of development in the areas of Mindanao. They are desperately recruiting people that will join their failed armed struggle by force, threat and intimidation. Further, NPA terrorists are the ones laying down IEDs and landmines that endanger not only lives of our soldiers but also the innocent civilians. Campos who is a functional staff for Explosives/Ordnance and production of Guerrilla Front 4B is a bomb maker himself. He makes landmines and IEDs proving that NPAs disrespect the International Humanitarian Law and are worthy to be called as terrorists.” (SPRINT News)