By PR | 11:47 AM December 25, 2020
SIATON, Negros Oriental – Elements of the 11th Infantry (Lapu-Lapu) Battalion, Philippine Army encountered remnants of Southeast Front, Komiteng Rehiyon Negros, Cebu, Bohol, and Siquijor (SEF, KR – NCBS) at Sitio Libjo, Barangay Napacao, Siaton, Negros Oriental at about 7:25 p. m. on Thursday, December 24, 2020.
The encounter happened after the government forces received reports from concerned residents and Barangay officials on the presence of the Communist NPA Terrorists (CNTs) in the said area.
After the exchange of firefight during that night, the troops were able to outmaneuver the said terrorists and successfully seized their position.
The encounter resulted in the recovery of two dead bodies of communist-terrorists together with their firearms; one caliber 5.56mm M653 (Baby Armalite) and one caliber .45 pistol. Also recovered from the encounter site were subversive documents, one bandolier with two magazines of M14, one backpack with medical supplies, two backpacks with personal belongings and medical paraphernalia.
As of this writing, the troops are still in the process of scouring the perimeter of the encounter; while the PNP SOCO team are checking the cadavers and pieces of evidence for forensic investigation as part of the processing of the crime scene.
Lieutenant Colonel Ramir J Redosendo, Commanding Officer of the 11th Infantry (Lapu-Lapu) Battalion, Philippine Army, stated, “We would like to thank the residents and Barangay officials of Barangay Napacao for these efforts as they provided the necessary information needed which led to the successful engagement against the NPA. This is also brought about by the intensified peace and security operations being undertaken through the Joint Enhanced Military and Police Operation (JEMPO).”
“We extend our deepest sympathies to the families and friends of those killed communist-terrorists. This could not have happened if the leaders of this communist-terrorist organization did not deceive and offered lies to its members,” Lt Col Redosendo added.
Colonel Leonardo Peña, the Commander of 302nd Infantry Brigade, stressed that “May this encounter serve as a lesson to all members of the CPP-NPAs and we reiterate our message to their remaining members just to lay down their arms and come back to the folds of the law to embrace the peace offered by the government and be reconciled with their families. It is just unfortunate that lives were being wasted for a cause that offers no solution but only armed struggle and deception. In this celebration of Christmas, we will appreciate you coming to us and we will help you join your family like your former comrades who are now happily celebrating holidays with their respective loved ones.”
Major General Eric C Vinoya, the Commander of the 3rd Infantry Division of the Philippine Army, in his statement, said, “The incident is unfortunate but necessary in protecting more of our kababayans from the terroristic activities of the CPP NPA. Your Philippine Army will continue to fulfill its mandate 24/7 as more soldiers will be deployed on the ground just to make sure that everyone can celebrate the holiday season safe and sound.”
“We have been telling this all along, that there will be no good in fighting the government through violence and terrorism as the Philippine Army is mightier than any terrorist group such as the NPA. They only have two options, surrender or die fighting a lost cause,” Vinoya added.
Lieutenant General Roberto T Ancan, Commander of Central Command, AFP said in his statement, “Sa atong mga ka igso-onan nga myembro sang NPA naga hinaot ko unta nga mubalik na kamu sa sabakan sang atong gobyerno arun manginabuhi ug magpuyo nga malinawon. Ikanaog dal a inyung pusil para makadawat benepisyu ug magsugod sang bag-ong kinabuhi uban sa inyung mga pamilya. Sa mga tao sa komunidad, maraming salamat sa tulong at pagpapaabot ng impormasyon dahil alam natin na sawa na kayo sa perwisyo ng mga NPA sa inyong lugar.”
Lt Gen Ancan also lauded the troops for the successful encounter.
“Sa tropa ng 11IB, ng 302nd Brigade at ng JTF Spear/3ID at maging sa ating mga kapulisan na naging katulong nila sa pagsugpo ng ganitong kasamaan, congratulations at maraming salamat sa mga sakripisyo para makamtan ang tunay na kapayapaan at katahimikan para sa mga taga-Negros Oriental, ” he said.