Camp Osito D. Bahian, Malaybalay City (DWDD) – A suspected member of the bandit group New People’s Army died in an armed clash against soldiers of the 8th Infantry Battalion that is operationally controlled by the 403rd Infantry Brigade of the Army’s 4th Infantry Division yesterday, May 5, 2017, around 4:30 pm, in the outskirts of Sitio Lagaslasan, Brgy. Kulaman, Malaybalay City, Bukidnon.
The incident took place after the troops who conducted focused military operations in the area were fired upon by more or less five (5) armed men. The operations were launched in response to the complaints of the local residents about the presence of armed men who are constantly threatening the civilians while asking for food and extorting money from the residents. Recovered from the possession of said bandit who died during the clash were one (1) bandoleer with four (4) magazines of AK-47 rifle loaded with 83 rounds of ammunition, an Icom radio charger, and several subversive documents. The identity of the bandit is yet to be identified as local officials of the nearest barangay are currently retrieving the cadaver of said suspected NPA member while the 8th Infantry Battalion have already coordinated with the PNP Crime Laboratory (SOCO) of Bukidnon for proper examination of the cadaver. Meantime, no casualties on the government side were reported.
Earlier, operating troops of the 8th Infantry Battalion engaged in a separate armed clash within the same vicinity around 10:45 am, May 5, 2017, when a group of armed men who are believed to be coming from the same bandit group fired upon the soldiers. No casualties on the government side were reported during the armed encounter while bloodstains were seen by the troops along the bandits’ withdrawal route.
Meanwhile, in San Fernando, Bukidnon, another armed clash between soldiers of the 8th Infantry Battalion and suspected NPA bandits took place earlier on May 5, 2017, around 6:30 am, in a forested area near Sitio Salumayag, Brgy. Halapitan of said town. The troops responded to the reports of local residents near the area about the presence of an armed group who are threatening the civilians and while the troops were nearing the place, they were fired upon by more or less 10 armed men. Said bandits scampered towards different directions when the troops fired back. No casualties on the government side were reported during the encounter that lasted for about 10 minutes while the troops were able to recover one (1) US Garand Rifle, one (1) US Carbine Rifle and one (1) rifle grenade from the bandit group.
Colonel Eric C Vinoya, Commander of the 403rd Infantry (Peacemaker) Brigade, 4ID, PA, commended the troops of the 8th Infantry Battalion for yielding positive results in doing their task and assured the people of Bukidnon on the Brigade’s commitment to secure the communities against threat and intimidation of the NPA. He also offered his sympathies to the family and relatives of the suspected NPA member who lost his life. In his statement, he mentioned, “I congratulate our Dependable soldiers of the 8th Infantry Battalion for successfully doing their task in securing the people, most especially our Lumad communities. However, we also would like to condole with the family and relatives of the suspected NPA member who died during the encounter. It is very unfortunate that such a meaningless loss of life would have to happen just because of the continued terroristic acts of the NPA and their leaders that threaten our people in the community. We also want our people to know that we will have no let up in our focused military operations if only to secure our communities from threats of intimidation, extortion, arson, kidnapping, murder and other terroristic and criminal acts of the NPA bandit group. 403rdIBde / MCAG