The Philippine Army’s 4th Infantry Division (4ID) on Tuesday, September 21, 2021, said that six (6) New People’s Army (NPA) combatants were killed in two separate clashes in Bukidnon and Agusan del Norte.
According to reports, the NPA was confronted in its hideout by the 1st Special Forces Battalion (1SFBn) under the operational supervision of the 403rd Infantry Brigade of the 4ID at 6:45 AM on September 20 in the hilly terrain of Sitio Cogon Cogon, Brgy. Manalog in Malaybalay, Bukidnon.
The soldiers came across roughly 15 fighters from the North Central Mindanao Regional Committee (NCMRC)’s Headquarters Forces Neo (HQF-NEO), Regional Sentro De Gravidad Compaq (RSDG COMPAQ), and Guerilla Front 89 (GF-89).
The 1SFBn and the 8th Infantry Battalion (8IB) conducted a focused military offensive against these three factions, as well as the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP)-NPA’s National Operations Command (NOC), Kommid, and Regional Operations Command (ROC).
After capturing the battleground, the soldiers discovered five communist insurgents who had been abandoned by their comrades. Eleven high-powered rifles, including six AK47 rifles, two M16 rifles, and three M653 rifles, as well as a cal. 45 pistol and assorted war material, were seized.
On the military troops’ side, no casualties were reported.
Meanwhile, about 3:00 PM on the same day, another clash occurred in the forested area of Barangay Bugsukan, Butuan City, Agusan del Norte, involving joint troops of 15SAC, 1SAB, Police Special Action Forces, and 65IB against an unknown number of fully armed communist rebels.
The firefight lasted 15 minutes and ended with the death of Alias “Jimboy” of the Sandatahang Yunin Pampropaganda 21A (SYP21A), GF21, Sub-Regional Committee (SRC) Westland of the North Eastern Mindanao Regional Committee (NEMRC), as well as the seizure of three high-powered firearms: two M16 rifles with magazines and one M203 40MM Grenade launcher.
Major General Romeo S. Brawner Jr., commander of the 4ID, said in a statement Tuesday that the police and military are working collaboratively.
“The CTG (Communist Terrorist Group) will never win in this fight. With the PNP (Philippine National Police) making their presence felt in the anti-insurgency campaign, we expect more and more CTG members and leaders to heed our call for peace after the series of setbacks they suffered in the past days in Bukidnon,” he said.
“Voluntary surrender is imminent and choosing to return to the peaceful path to avail the Enhance Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP) would be the better option for the CTG,” he added.
During military operations in September alone, a total of 11 government-initiated engagements occurred, resulting in the neutralization of 34 guerillas and the capture of 56 high-powered and four low-powered weaponry.
During this time, the 4ID troops overran or uncovered seven communist insurgent hideouts.
“We are calling all remnants of the CPP-NPA-NDF or the Communist Terrorist Group particularly in Bukidnon province to stop the senseless fight and save their lives. I am appealing to the CPP-NPA-NDF leaders to give peace a chance.
“Stop the senseless fight and give peace a chance,” Brawner urged the surviving communist rebels in Bukidnon.
“Can they not find a little space in their hearts that desires for peace and end this futile armed struggle that cost so many lives? Is it not clear that our people want peace and not chaos? People want development, not senseless deaths,” he said.
The CPP, NPA, and NDF have been recognized as terrorist organizations by the Philippines’ Anti-Terrorism Council. The CPP-NPA has also been designated as a terrorist organization by the European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines.