Following a tip from a concerned citizen, troops from the 1001st Infantry (Pag-asa) Brigade figured in an armed clash with the Communist NPA Terrorists (CNTs) in Sitio Tandik, Barangay Tandawan, New Bataan, Davao de Oro at about 3:15 in the afternoon of February 9, 2022.
More or less 20 personnel from the Regional Operations Command (ROC), Southern Mindanao Regional Committee (SMRC) led by a certain Leo Lacumbo aka OLE scampered towards different directions following a gunfight with the operating troops of 1001st Brigade. There are no reported casualty in the government forces while still undetermined on the CNTs as the troops are still scouring the encounter site. Sporadic gunfire continued from 7pm up to 830pm.
In his statement, Brigadier General Jesus P Durante III, Commander 1001st Brigade assured the populace of their safety. “We call on to the populace of Barangay Tandawan not to panic. The troops are here to protect you from any harm brought about by the terroristic activities of the NPAs. We encourage you to report to us immediately any presence of the armed group so that we can act accordingly”, Durante said.
Moreover, he issued a stern warning to the fleeing NPAs. “This might be your best chance to surrender. Our doors remain open if you choose to do so. To those who continue to fight against the government, I assure you that we will not stop until this part of the region will be totally free from your terroristic activities. We will never stop in hunting you down. We will commit all our resources and ourselves just to ensure that every personnel that you have will be neutralized. We will hit you hard.” Durante added.
It can be recalled that since September of last year, 1001st Brigade has been relentless in its focused military operations targeting the CPP-NPA-NDF’s Regional Headquarters, Southern Mindanao Regional Committee (RHQ-SMRC) which resulted to the neutralization of 3 high-ranking NPAs, which includes CPP central committee member Menandro Villanueva aka Bok, and the recovery of high-powered firearms and war materiel. For this year, the Brigade already figured in five armed skirmishes with the CNTs.