MATI CITY, Davao Oriental (DWDD) – Troops of 28th Infantry Battalion based in Mati City, Davao Oriental encountered an undetermined number of armed men belonging to the New People’s Army (NPA) at Sitio Palo Palo, Barangay Marayag, Lupon, Davao Oriental on January 16, 2018 at around 1:25 o’clock in the afternoon.
Based on the report of 28th IB, the residents from Brgy Marayag reported that the NPAs demanded money from the community. Acting on said report, the troops moved to secure the said Brgy but were fired upon by around 20 NPAs. A firefight ensued for almost 10 minutes and after which the NPAs fled to a forested area leaving four bodies of their comrades. Recovered were four (4) low powered firearms and 1 (one) Improvised Explosive Device. No soldier was harmed while bloodstains scattered at the scene an indication of casualties among the NPAs.
t can be recalled that the NPA is a signatory to the Comprehensive Agreement on the Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIL) which prohibits the employment of landmines and other IEDs which might endanger the lives of the civilians in the community.
Last month, an encounter also erupted at the neighboring Municipality of Tarragona, Davao Oriental, where residents evacuated as a result of the armed conflict, while the 59 mass supporters of NPAs in the area surrendered and took allegiance to the government.
The troops are constantly visiting the local communities thru Community Support Program (CSP) to facilitate the livelihood projects being implemented by the Local Government Units and Line Government Agencies in partnership with the 701st Infantry Brigade in Davao Oriental Province.
Brigadier General Reuben S Basiao AFP, Commander 701st Brigade in his statement said “the NPA is desperate in implementing their recruitment efforts by forcing the residents to attend their meetings and extort the communities for their survival. The community is tired in believing their false promises realizing that the people did not benefit from the terrorists and would rather prefer to have the government on their side.” 28IB / MCAG