AFP troops recover bombs, found NPA camp in gunbattle with communist terrorists in Bukidnon, ComVal provinces

October 6, 2009 10:37 pm 

BUTUAN CITY, Oct. 7 -– Troops of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) recovered an improvised explosive devise (IED) in an encounter with communist-New People’s Army (NPA) in Sitio Kamisungan, Barangay Matupi Tuesday, San Fernando town in Bukidnon province, military reported Wednesday.

Capt. Emmanuel R. Garcia, chief of Public Affairs Office of 10th Infantry (Agila) Division, said the gunbattle happened at 9 am Tuesday.

The encountered NPA rebels were regular fighters of Local Terrorist Armed Unit-2 (LTAU-2) and Local Terrorist Front-52 (LTF-52) under certain “Commander Luther”, Capt. Garcia said.

“Acting on a tip-off by residents regarding the presence of armed men in their place, soldiers and Civilian Armed Forces Geographical Unit (CAFGU) members led by Lt. Mario Vergara caught up with terrorists in a firefight that lasted for almost 30 minutes,” added Garcia.

Outgunned and outnumbered, the rebels forced to withdraw to nearby forest mountain. Operating troops recovered the bomb materials together with several medical kits and backpacks in the encounter, Garcia also said.

Lt. Col. Adriano Perez, commanding officer of the Army’s 60th Infantry Battalion, slammed the use of IED by the terrorists saying “it is the height of cowardice to use improvised bombs which endanger the lives of noncombatants.”

Col. Perez said “The use of IED is banned worldwide as it violates the very principle of International Humanitarian Law which is anchored on the protection of civilians caught in armed conflict. This shows the evil nature of this organization and its leaders who pester on the poor and exploiting the plight of the masses so that they may continue on their large scale extortion activities victimizing business enterprise and even the lowly farmers in Southern and Northern Mindanao regions.”

A few days ago, a meeting of Lumad leaders and soldiers was disrupted by gunshots by suspected local terrorists in a seeming bid to stop the “pulong-pulong” (tribal meeting) in nearby Talaingod town in Davao del Norte. Authorities suspected that the same group was the one encountered by troops.

In related development, soldiers discovered an abandoned terrorist camp in Barangay Las Arenas, Pantukan town in Compostela Valley (ComVal) province the other day.

Reports from 10th “Agila” Division said the camp could accommodate about 100 persons with its 50 makeshift bunkers and is believed to be last occupied between the months of August and September. (PNA)

FFC/MUC/mec

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