Philippine Army neutralizes three CNT leaders in Cagayan

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Three high-value leaders of the Komiteng Probinsya (KOMPROB) Cagayan, Komiteng Rehiyon-Cagayan Valley (KR-CV) were neutralized in a five-minute firefight between the troops of the 17th Infantry Battalion and Communist Terrorist Group (CTG) on Maundy Thursday, April 14, 2022, in Barangay Virginia, Sto. Niño, Cagayan.

The CTG leaders were identified as Saturnino Agunoy alias Peping, Head of the Regional Operations Department of Komiteng Rehiyon-Cagayan Valley (KR-CV), Mark Canta alias Uno, Giyang Politikal, West Front Committee, and alias Val, medical officer of the West Front Committee all of KOMPROB Cagayan, KR-CV.

Based on the record from RTC Branch 3, 2nd Judicial Region, alias Peping is a notorious criminal and is facing several criminal cases such as 12 cases of Qualified Assault upon an agent of person in authority with murder with 120,000 pesos bail bond each, two cases of Qualified Assault upon an agent of person in authority with murder without bail bond, arson with 24,000 pesos bail bond, rebellion with 200,000 pesos bail bond, and murder with no recommended bail bond.

According to LtC Oliver C. Logan, 17IB Battalion Commander, the said troops were just conducting a security patrol in the area when the residents informed them about the presence of the CTG.

“Upon verifying the information, members of the CTG fired our operating troops which they retaliated. The firefight lasted for five minutes which resulted in the death of their three leaders. Before this, we have learned that the terrorist group in the area was led by the notorious alias Simoy,” said Logan.

“Some of the members of the CTG scampered in a different direction. So, we alerted our nearest patrol bases and the PNP to conduct blocking position and checkpoint for their possible apprehension,” the Battalion Commander added.

Meanwhile, while conducting clearing operation at the encounter site, the troops recovered two cal. 45 pistol, one hand grenade, one backpack (one lenovo laptop with Charger , one Cherry mobile smart phone, one USB and personal items), one backpack with medical supplies (12 syringes, three IV fluids, bandages, 30 gauze pad, etc) and subversive documents with high intelligence value.

Moreover, BGen Steve D. Crespillo, Brigade Commander of the 501st Infantry Brigade extended his condolences to the families of the killed individuals and warned the remaining member of the CTG.

“As much as possible we intend to save lives that is why we are encouraging the members of the terrorist group to return to the folds of the law. Though we are saddened with the death of these three NPA leaders, let this be a warning to the remaining CTG members to lay down their arms before it’s too late. We value lives but we will protect our people at all costs even at risk against terrorism,” said Crespillo.

Further, MGen Laurence E. Mina, Commander of 5th Infantry Division, Philippine Army lauded the accomplishment of the troops that contributed to the success of the implementation of the war against insurgency.

“We have set our goal in ending the local communist armed conflict in our Area of Responsibility in the 2nd quarter of the year. Through this, I am confident to say that we can now foresee an insurgency-cleared 2022. Let us continue to serve our call in protecting the people and securing the land,” said Mina. — PA

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