KUTA SANG-AN, Labangan, Zamboanga del Sur – Troops under Joint Task Force “ZAMPELAN” encountered members of the New People’s Army in Brgy San Isidro, Sergio Osmena, Zamboanga del Norte on 17 February 2018 at 8:34 pm.
The operating troops of 53rd Infantry Battalion led by 1LT ABNER C PILANDO (INF) PA were conducting strike operation at the vicinity of the said area when they clashed with the Communist NPA Terrorists (CNTs).
LTC MARLOWE E PATRIA INF (GSC) PA, Commanding Officer of the 53IB said that the enemy were reportedly sowing terror to the civilian community and are said to be out to conduct liquidation or harassment in the area.
The operating troops were able to intercept the NPAs and figured in a 15-minute firefight which compelled the enemy to scamper from the area, said Patria.
After the firefight, the troops recovered one (1) body of the NPA killed which they left behind along with a magazine for AK47 rifle. The NPAs carried their other comrades who were wounded as evidenced by the blood stains along enemy tracks. One of our soldiers also died in the firefight.
“We denounce in strongest terms the continued atrocities of NPAs which killed one of our soldiers and their continuous atrocities against our hapless civilians. Our soldier died a hero while protecting our people and our communities. We will vigorously pursue these NPA terrorists until they will be left with no choice but surrender or get killed”, said Maj Gen Roseller G Murillo AFP, 1st ID Commader as he commended the operating troops for the successful encounter.
“The cooperation of the civilians who reported the armed group’s presence in their area is a strong manifestation that civilians have long been tired of these NPA’s terroristc activities in forms of extortion and harassment.” he added.