In separate operations in southern Negros Occidental earlier this week, Philippine Army troops seized two Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) hideouts.
According to the 3rd Infantry Division (ID), soldiers from the 94th Infantry Battalion (IB) overran the communist-terrorist lair in Sitio Buko, Barangay Tan-awan in Kabankalan City on July 22, while troops from the 15th Infantry Battalion (IB) invaded the other one in Sitio Guinobatan, Barangay Caningay in Candoni town on July 20.
According to Maj. Gen. Eric Vinoya, commander of the 3ID, the finding of the two lairs indicates that the CPP-NPA rebels in Negros are “on the run.”
“They cannot afford to stay or go back in one place after losing the trust and support of the masses. All they can do now is run and hide to avoid our troops,” he added.
In Kabankalan City, soldiers fought 20 communist terrorists from the NPA’s SDG Platoon, CN2 in a 30-minute firefight near Sitio Manulaya, forcing the enemy to flee in different directions.
According to the report, a soldier received a gunshot wound to his left leg but is now in stable condition.
Following the battle, troops discovered the NPA’s temporary campsite in Sitio Buko, which can house about 30 people.
They recovered an M16 A1 rifle with handguard and four short magazines loaded with ammunition, as well as components for an improvised explosive device made up of a 150-meter electric wire and a battery switch.
A jungle hammock, a book, a bolo, three ponchos, rain boots, slippers, several clothing, seven kilos of corn, and P105 cash were among the items seized.
Following a series of battles in Barangay Caningay, 15IB troops in Candoni seized Adrian “Nico” Gallendo Omilig, a team leader of the NPA Southwest Front.
The soldiers transferred Omilig to the Candoni Municipal Police Station’s custody.
Approximately 14 families in Caningay were evacuated to guarantee their safety during the clearing operation and got support from the village and municipal authority before being allowed to return home.
A hand grenade, a 9mm pistol loaded with 10 rounds of ammunition, four 9mm magazines, 56 rounds of 9mm ammunition, empty M60, M203, M16, and AK47 cartridges, a solar panel, and personal belongings were retrieved by troops.
The commanding commander of 15B, Lt. Col. Erwin Cario, commended the locals of Barangay Caningay for providing precise information regarding the CPP-NPA insurgents’ presence.
“Their support and cooperation are our best tools to end the presence of communist-terrorists in southern Negros,” he added.
The CPP-NPA is also listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines.