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Suspected NPA killed in encounter with government troops in Agusan del Norte

By: Florence Baesa - CDN Digital | December 05,2019 - 01:11 PM

The items recovered from a suspected hideout of rebels in Agusan del Norte. | photo courtesy of 23rd Infantry Battalion

DUMAGUETE CITY, Negros Oriental—A suspected member of the New People’s Army ( NPA) was killed during an encounter between troops of the 23rd Infantry Battalion (23IB) and suspected rebels in Sitio San Jose, Barangay Durian, Las Nieves, Agusan del Norte on Wednesday morning, December 4, 2019.

According to a military report, troops recovered three high powered firearms, an AK 47 rifle and two M16 rifles from the alleged hideout of the rebels in the area.  Also recovered were four laptops, one generator, 21 backpacks, two sacks of rice, food supplies, medicines, subversive documents and other personal belongings.

“I commend the troops of the 23IB and the people of Las Nieves, Agusan Del Norte for their continued efforts in flushing out the communist terrorists from their area of responsibility. The success of military operations can be attributed to the effective activation of local Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict in the province,” said Major General Franco Nemesio Gacal, commander of the 4th Infantry (Diamond) Division. 

Lieutenant Colonel Francisco Molina Jr., commanding officer of the 23IB, said in a statement that the troops received information from concerned citizens in the area regarding the presence of armed men.

Upon reaching the area, the troops encountered more or less 40 suspected rebels believed to be members of the North Central Mindanao Regional Command (NCMRC) under Eddie Mangubat, alias “Weds.” 

A fierce gunbattle lasted for about 15 minutes, after which the enemies withdrew towards the northeast, leaving behind a downed comrade.

The recovered body of the suspected NPA was turned over to the Barangay Council of Barangay Durian for proper identification.

Gacal, meanwhile, called on members of the NPA to surrender and enjoy the government programs intended for the surrenderees.

“I’m calling on the rest of the NPAs still fighting the government to surrender for the locals have already declared them Persona Non Grata or unwanted,” Gacal said. /bmjo

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