AGUSAN DEL NORTE - Despite the pandemic, government forces and the communist New People's Army (NPA) rebels continue their encounters in the outskirts of this province, reports reaching MDNN News Team said Thursday.
During the skirmishes, government forces recovered high-powered firearms and other subversive documents left by the rebels after fleeing from the encounter sites.
Lt. Col. Julius Cesar C. Paulo, commander of 23IB, in a statement, told the media in a statement that the encounters happened in Sitio Palo Dos, Barangay Jaguimitan, Nasipit, and in Sitio Manawang, Barangay Guinabsan, Buenavista town over the weekend.
The military official said that during the first encounter, about 15 NPA rebels operating in North Central Mindanao engaged the patrolling soldiers, which later resulted in the recovery of food containers, backpacks, ammunitions, a radio antenna and other personal belongings
Meanwhile in the second encounter, troops of the 23 Infantry Battalion also seized three AK47 rifles, two M203 grenade launchers, and one anti-personnel mine.
“We conducted the series of focused military operations in the said areas after receiving reports that the remnants of DGF-4A led by Jelan Pinakilid, alias Baking were disturbing the communities and threatening the residents,” Paulo narrated.
Prior to the encounters, it was learned from the military, the residents complained of reported extortion activities and confiscation of farm products by the said rebels.
At the encounter sites, the elite military forces of the government discover heavy bloodstains, a clear indication the rebels suffered casualties, report said.
“These remnants of DGF-4A have nowhere to go as the civilians themselves report to us their presence. These remaining insurgents continue to refuse the offer of the government to surrender peacefully and avail of the programs and services through the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program or ECLIP. With their persistent refusal to lay down their arms, the 23IB will unceasingly pursue them. The civilians are already supporting us,” Paulo warned.
Quoting an intel report coming from the military side, the DGF-4A was already dismantled by the communist rebels after several of its top leaders were killed in a series of encounters last year.
The United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand have listed the New People's Army as a terrorist organization. - (PNA)