By PNA and U.S. News Agency / Asian
A New People’s Army (NPA) member died, while an improvised explosive device (IED) and two high caliber firearms were recovered by the government troops in two separate clashes between soldiers and the rebels here in Caraga region Wednesday and Thursday.
Report from 1 Lt. Joe Patrick A. Martinez, commanding officer of the Philippine Army’s 42nd Civil-Military Operations Company, 4ID, said that Army troops under the command of Lt. Col. Adonis Ariel G. Orio of the 29th Infantry Battalion, conveyed that his troops encountered some 20 rebels in Sitio Camarin, Barangay Tagmamarkay, Tubay Agusan del Norte at 8:45 a.m. Thursday.
Reports said that a concerned civilian tipped off the soldiers on the location of the NPAs in their area.
Lt. Col. Orio, upon receiving the report, dispatched a team to proceed to the said area. While on their way to the said place, the Army troops were fired upon by the NPAs, “who were unmindful of the civilians in the vicinity.”
This accordingly caused the soldiers to maneuver to a place which will keep the civilians away from the crossfire. A twenty-minute firefight accordingly ensued, after which the NPAs withdrew to some unknown directions.
The government forces overrun the place where the NPAs had positioned themselves and recovered an Ak 47, an improvised explosive device (IED) and three backpacks containing personal belongings and some subversive documents.
Bloody tracks were also observed by the pursuing troopers at the encounter site where the rebels had positioned themselves. “Using IEDs and employing indiscriminate strafing are violations of the provisions under Art. 2, Sec. 15 of the Comprehensive Agreement On Respect Of Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL). Because of this, the people in the area are living in fear (of the rebels),” Martinez quoted Lt. Col. Orio as saying during his interview with the official.
“The recent clash tells us again that violence is not the solution to whatever problems that NPAs have. This is a lose-lose situation when another Filipino loses his life in this nonsense fight,” said Lt. Col. Orio as quoted by Martinez.
Martinez also said that the 29th IB chief has called on the rebels to bring to the nearest hospital their wounded comrades for immediate medical attention and even offered the medical facilities of the nearby Army camps “so that their wounded can be saved from their gunshot wounds,” Orio accordingly said.
Meanwhile, a rebel was killed and an M14 rifle was recovered in a separate Army and NPA encounter at a hinterland village in Tandag City in Surigao del Sur 11:55 a.m. Wednesday.
Surigao del Sur Police reports that Philippine Army Scout Platoon under 1Lt. Jude Ken Roche, while on a combat operation encountered an undetermined number of the rebels in the vicinity of Carbon, Maitum, Tandag City.
A 25-minute firefight ensued, where the enemies withdrew towards the southern direction after pursued by the government troopers. The pursuing troops recovered the body of a dead rebel and an M14 rifle.