By Mike U. Crismundo
Camp Bancasi, Butuan City – After capturing a New People’s Army (NPA) camp Saturday, government forces have stepped up pursuit operations against the fleeing rebels in Surigao del Sur’s Diwata range.
Troops of the Army’s 36th Infantry Battallion (36th IB), supported by war-earth-moving equipment, were deployed in Diwata range to beef up the pursuing “Alpha Company” and Scout Platoon troops at the Andap Complex in Marihatag town, Surigao del Sur.
The provincial police mobile force, special force and Surigao del Sur Police Provincial Office (PPO) were also ordered by Northeastern Mindanao Police Regional Office 13 (PRO 13) Regional Director Chief Supt. Rolando B. Felix to assist the operating troops of 36th IB commander Lt. Col. Randolph Rojas.
The wide pursuit operation against the fleeing members of guerilla-Front Committee 19 of the CPP-NPA Northeastern Mindanao Regional Committee (NEMRC) took place after pursuing troops of “Alpha” and Scout Platoon of the 36th IB captured the rebels’ encampment at 4:40 p.m. on August 19 in Barangay Mahaba (within Andap Complex) in Marihatag town, Surigao del Sur, 36th IB spokesperson Capt. Al Anthony B. Pueblas told The Manila Bulletin on Wednesday.
Government forces seized several wires and detonating cords, cache of assorted ammunitions and magazines, improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and other bomb-making materials at the NPA camp, said the 36th IB spokesperson, in an exclusive interview with The Manila Bulletin.
“The NPAs hastily abandoned their camp after sensing that our pursuing troops were closely coming in to their position,” Pueblas said.
The seized rebel encampment can accommodate up to 50 persons, he said.
He said some of the seized landmines were found planted along the side of the road. “These pose so much danger to the civilian populace,” the 36th IB spokesperson said.