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ENCOUNTER | Soldiers engaged NPA attackers in Series of Firefights

Davao City MapNPA 1CGMTY, MAWAB, Compostela Valley Province (DWDD) – Troops pursuing the attackers of civilian establishments in Davao and Panabo Cities clashed with the remnants of the New People’s Army (NPA) in series of firefights in Davao City, Davao del Sur and Davao Occidental from May 6 to 11.

According to Major Ezra Balagtey, spokesman, Eastern Mindanao Command, two bodies of dead rebels, a cal .38 revolver, an M14 Rifle and various war materiel were recovered by the troops.

More wounded and dead rebels were carried by the fleeing rebels as seen and reported by the people in the area. One soldier was killed in action while nine others were wounded and already evacuated to hospitals in Davao City in the May 10 armed clash between troops of 3rd Infantry Battalion and NPA rebels belonging to Pulang Bagani Company (PBC) 1 in Barangay Dalagdag, Calinan District, Davao City.

Troops from 3IB were involved in nine encounters from May 6 to 10 while troops from 73IB were involved in three firefights on May 7, 9 and 11.

Troops from 3IB engaged in six firefights with the NPA’s PBC 1 in Brgy Dominga, Calinan District, Davao City from May 6 to 9. Another group of soldiers engaged the same NPA group twice in Barangay Sumimao, Calinan District on May 9 where the retreating rebels left behind a dead body of their comrade with a caliber .38 pistol. The dead NPA was identified as Jojo Dagahoya, a member of PBC1 from Sitio Balinanao, Brgy Fatima, Paquibato District, Davao City

Another group of soldiers engaged the fleeing NPA band at around 1 a.m. on May 10 at Barangay Dalagdag which resulted to one soldier killed and nine others hurt. The body of a dead NPA and several war materiel were left behind by the fleeing CTs. The dead body was identified as Eleazar Templado alias Chin, a political instructor of PBC1 from Calinan Proper, Davao City. Templado is believed to be a former UCCP Pastor in Davao City, a convenor of Kontra Daya last May 2013 elections, convenor of Church Labor Solidarity Network (CLSN) and former spokesperson of (PCPR) Promotion of Church and Peoples Response, Southern Mindanao Region. Names of the casualties are being withheld pending notification of their next of kin.

Meanwhile, troops from 73rd Infantry Battalion engaged in a firefight 20 NPA rebels belonging to Guerilla Front 71 on 7:30 a.m. of May 7 at Sitio Kidalagan, Brgy Danwata, Malita, Davao Occidental. The same troops caught up with the fleeing rebels and another firefight occurred on 6:30 a.m. of May 9 at the same barangay.

Another group of 73IB troops engaged 20 NPA rebels in a firefight on 7:30 a.m. of May 11 at Sitio Lawisa, Brgy Sibulan, Santa Cruz, Davao del Sur which resulted to the recovery of one M14 rifle left by the CTs. No soldier was hurt on these three encounters. Strengthened security measures together with the police are being undertaken to block the fleeing rebels from escaping the area.

Major General Rafael Valencia, the 10ID Commander and concurrently the Joint Task Force Haribon (JTFH) commander, expressed grief on the death of the soldier who was killed-in-action (KIA) and prayed for the fast recovery of the wounded soldiers. “We shall relentlessly pursue the anti-peace and anti-development nuisance propaganda army (NPA) of the communists who only make the lives of the Filipinos miserable,” MGen Valencia said. 10DPAO / MCAG

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