CAMP OSITO D. BAHIAN, Impalambong, Malaybalay City (DWDD) – Three(3) NPA bandits who are believed to be members of the NPA’s Guerilla Front 68 were reported to have died during an encounter with government troops coming from the 1st Special Forces Battalion of the Army’s Special Operations Command in a forested area near Brgy.Licoan, Sumilao, Bukidnon on May 13, 2017, around 2:30 pm. The NPA members who were identified as alias Aryong, alias Janie and alias Jemboy, were among the estimated 20 NPA members who fired at the responding government troops that resulted to a 1-hour firefight.
Meantime, reports also disclose that five (5) NPA bandits were also fatally wounded during the clash. The government troops continue to search the area for the cadavers of the NPA fatalities.
The elements of the 1st Special Forces Battalion are among the troops that are operationally controlled by the 403rd Infantry Brigade of the Army’s 4th Infantry Division. The Brigade was prompted to conduct focused military operations in the area as a response to the repeated complaints of local residents of Sumilao town on the presence of armed men who are constantly threatening the civilians and the business establishments through intimidation and extortion activities. Since the unfortunate collapse of the ceasefire on February 1, 2017, the NPA bandits in Bukidnon perpetrated incidents of arson in the province by burning equipment and other facilities of civilian entities and business establishments who do not give in to their monetary demands. In the municipality of Sumilao alone, it can be recalled that on March 1, 2017, around 12:30 midnight, a group of NPA bandits burned down two (2) crawler backhoes owned by a contractor of the Del Monte Philippines Incorporated in Vista Villa, Sitio Nangka, Brgy.Puntian of said town.
Colonel Eric C Vinoya, Commander of the 403rd Infantry (Peacemaker) Brigade, condemned the NPA leaders for yet another meaningless loss of lives and for their plain irresponsibility and lack of remorse by denying their dead comrades a decent burial, and their wounded elements the proper medication. He also called upon the other NPA members to surrender so as not to suffer the same unfortunate fate as that of their dead and wounded comrades. “Yet again, we have seen how the NPA leaders treat their dead and wounded members. We condemn such treacherous and disrespectful acts that only bandits do. May this incident serve as a warning to all those who would still opt to join this ill-motivated group. We call upon the leaders of the NPA members who were wounded during the encounter to let these people be given proper medication while there’s still time. Your 403rd Infantry Brigade, in collaboration with our local government units here in Bukidnon, are very much willing to assist these wounded persons. And to the other NPA members, now is the right time to lay down your arms and go back to the folds of the law. You will be assisted through our government’s Comprehensive Local Integration Program and you will not be harmed. Otherwise, it is very likely that you will suffer the same fate as that of your dead comrades.”– says Colonel Vinoya. 403IBde / MCAG