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Army’s 36IB, Special Recon Teams Seize 6 High-Powered Firearms, Numerous War Materiel in Clash anew against CTG in Surigao del Sur

CAMP EVANGELISTA, Cagayan de Oro City – Troops of the 36th Infantry (Valor) Battalion supported by Special Recon Teams under the operational control of the 901st Infantry (Fight ‘Em) Brigade of the 4th Infantry (Diamond) Division have seized six (6) high-powered firearms and numerous war materiel in an encounter against members of the communist terrorist group (CTG) yesterday morning, September 19, 2023 in Brgy. Maitum, Tandag City, Surigao del Sur.

Troops of 36IB and Special Recon Teams under the command and supervision of Lt. Col. Vincent M. Viray, the Acting Commanding Officer, figured in a running gun battle against more or less 30 CPP-NPA Terrorists (CNTs) of the combined elements of the so-called Regional Headquarters (RHQ), Northeastern Mindanao Regional Committee (NEMRC) and Platoon 1 of the Weakened Guerilla Front 30 (WGF30), NEMRC. 

Lt. Col. Viray added that his troops supported by the special recon teams launched a combat patrol to verify the report from residents regarding the presence of a bulk of CNTs in their area.

Said encounter which lasted for about 30 minutes resulted in the capture of one (1) M16 rifle, one (1) Bushmaster rifle, one (1) Stag A5 VLTOR Rifle, one (1) M653 Rifle, two (2) R4 Rifles, Four (4) Bandoliers, two (2) Handheld Commercial Radios, two (2) Anti-Personnel Mines (APMs) which are pressure detonated, Electrical wires and 30 Backpacks containing assorted medical and food supplies and personal belongings.

Meanwhile, Brigadier General George Banzon, Commander of the 901st Infantry Brigade, disclosed that with the assistance of local town folks, they are monitoring and closing in with the movement of the top leadership of the NEMRC, which has been hiding in Surigao del Sur, to include the beleaguered platoon 1 of so-called WGF30.

“Our relentless combat operations in the mountainous area of Tandag City is in connection with the previous encounters in Brgy. Bagyang in San Miguel on September 5 and in Barangay Maticdum of this city on September 11, both in Surigao del Sur province, to pursue the same group we encountered yesterday which we believed led by Myrna Sularte alias Maria Malaya, the so-called Secretary of the NEMRC and Joel Mahinay alias Nicko,” BGen Banzon said.

In a statement, Major General Jose Maria R. Cuerpo II, Commander of 4ID, once again lauded the troops for their instantaneous actions to deny the presence of the CTG members in the area and prevent their atrocities. He underscored that this accomplishment clearly manifested how firm is the framework of the Whole-of-Nation Approach to counter the criminalities and exploitation by the CTG through the collaborative efforts of the 4ID, the local populace and other government agencies.

“We will pursue aggressively. We are highly motivated to hunt down the top leadership of the NEMRC. Now more than ever is the best opportunity for us to pursue unceasingly and end the reign of terror of Myrna Sularte which for so many years have committed injustices to the local communities. We owe these accomplishments to the strong cooperation of the communities and our stakeholders. Given the CNTs’ current circumstances and on survival mode, we anticipate that their remaining members will willingly return to the folds of the law in the coming days,” MGen Cuerpo added.



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