2 NPA militants killed, 2 others seized in a clash with gov’t forces in Surigao del Norte

In a confrontation with government troops in Bacuag, Surigao del Norte on Monday afternoon, two communist New People’s Army (NPA) rebels were killed and two others were seized.

The Army’s 30th Infantry Battalion (30IB) claimed in a statement Tuesday that a combat operation was initiated on Monday to verify civilian claims of the presence of roughly 10 NPA terrorists in Pan-ukan, Barangay Camboayon in Bacuag town.

According to reports, the rebels were headed by Alberto Castaeda, alias ‘JD,’ of the NPA’s Guerilla Front 16’s Sandatahang Yunit Pampropaganda 16C2.

According to reports, the rebels were headed by Alberto Castaeda, alias ‘JD,’ of the NPA’s Guerilla Front 16’s Sandatahang Yunit Pampropaganda 16C2.

The 30IB troops engaged the NPA rebels in a 25-minute combat after arriving at the location. The NPA rebels promptly retreated, leaving behind their two dead comrades. After the conflict, the soldiers also captured a wounded rebel and another.

One M4 Rifle Bushmaster L880555 with a magazine loaded with 20 live ammunition, a Carbine rifle with a magazine loaded with eight live ammunition, two shotguns, one improvised explosive device with blasting cap, one hand grenade, and four backpacks containing personal belongings were also recovered from the encounter site by government troops.

“The bodies of the dead NPA rebels and the captured were properly handed over to authorities for identification and proper disposition. The wounded rebel was immediately rushed to a nearby hospital for medical treatment,” the 30IB said.

Lt. Col. Ryan Charles Callanta, the commander of the 30IB, said the operation was undertaken right away to prevent abuses and possibly crimes perpetrated by NPA insurgents against residents in the area.

“These terrorists were responsible in extortion activities targeting private individuals and small businesses,” Callanta said.

Brig. Gen. George Banzon, commander of the 901st Infantry, praised the 30IB troops for taking swift and deliberate action against the NPA terrorists, and thanked the local community for providing timely information that helped the operation succeed.

“Your contribution, particularly the timely information is very vital in our peace and security efforts. Our success in recent encounters manifests that cooperation of the community is a big factor in preventing the communist terrorist group (CTG) from doing their evil plan,” Banzon said.

The commander of the 901Bde also offered his profound condolences to the families of NPA fighters killed in the battle.

“The government is offering the best option for the remaining members of the CTG so that their lives will not be wasted because of senseless ideology,” Banzon said.

He also believes that the tragic deaths of the NPA rebels will serve as a wake-up call to the remaining insurgents in the area, urging them to lay down their arms and participate in the government’s Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program.

According to the 30IB, a pursuit operation is still underway in the region.

The United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand have all designated the Communist Party of the Philippines as a terrorist group.

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