TROOPS from the Army’s 8th Infantry Battalion overran a New People’s Army (NPA) hideout in a village in Impasugong town, Bukidnon on Thursday.
Based on the report provided by the military over the weekend, more than a hundred communist guerrillas were camping at an uninhabited area in Barangay Bolonay, Impasugong.
The report, furnished to reporters by 8th IB civil military operation officer 1Lt. Ken Cabbigat, said members of the Sentro de Grabidad Dario, Peddler, and Compaq units under the NPA’s North Central Mindanao Regional Committee had converged in the area.
The insurgents’ leaders were identified by the 8th IB only as Gab, Kaloy, and Jary or Reds.
“The security forces upon receiving the information of the CPP-NPA from concerned citizens immediately responded with a deliberate plan,” Cabbigat was quoted as saying in the report.
He said a 20-minute firefight ensued after state forces engaged the Maoist insurgents at the rebels’ hideout prompting them to run towards different directions.
The military said the troops were able to occupy the 60×200-sq/m NPA lair that can accommodate 150 makeshift bunkers, recovered four unexploded anti-personnel mines, 100-meter electrical wires, assorted medicines, and personal belongings.
Bloodstains were also seen on the NPA’s withdrawal routes, officials said.
Lt Col. Ronald Illana, 8th IB commander, said the rebels merged their groups because they lacked manpower, disintegrating and isolated.
Meanwhile, 21 NPA rebels surrendered to the 103rd Infantry Brigade Friday following a week of offensive operations against the insurgents in Lumba Bayabao, Lanao del Sur.
The surrenderers turned over a rocket-propelled grenade, an M1 Carbine rifle, a caliber .45 pistol, two caliber .38 revolvers, and assorted ammunition.
The rebels have reportedly eluded the military in Bukidnon and tried to establish a foothold in Lumba Bayabao.
“The relentless offensive of the troops pressured the enemy forces to flee and this prompted their supporters to surrender,” said Brig. Gen. Romeo Brawner, 103rd IB commander. (Jigger J. Jerusalem)