By Nitz Arancon
GOVERNMENT troops encountered at least 15 suspected New People’s Army guerrillas in Barangay Valentina, Esperanza town in Agusan del Sur recently.
The troops of 23rd Infantry Battalion responded to the reports of concerned civilian residents regarding the presence of Maoist rebels in their barangay at around 2 pm, last Wednesday. The 23rd Infantry Battalion under Lt. Col. Francisco L. Molina, Jr, immediately deployed troops to conduct a security patrol in the area. During the patrol, the troops encountered around 15 fully-armed guerrillas who were believed to be members of NPA’s Guerilla Front 88.
The firefight lasted for about 15 minutes. After which, the enemies hastily scampered in different directions leaving behind heavy traces bloodstains which indicate that the guerrillas suffered severe wounds during the encounter.
After scouring the encounter site, the government troops recovered one AK47 rifle, one M4 rifle, six magazines of AK47 rifle, two hand grenades, two rifle grenades, several rounds of ammunition for M14 and AK47 rifle, two bandolier, one handheld radio, several identification cards, seven backpacks containing assorted medicines and medical supplies, and subversive documents.
“Through the cooperation of the civilian stakeholders, we can easily thwart the hostile plans of the CNTs in the community. This only means that the residents of the said barangay are already tired from the lies and deception of the CNTs. Their extortion activities were already too much burden to the people that prompted them to report immediately the presence of the armed group,” Molina said.