By Mike U. Crismundo
Camp Bancasi, Butuan City – Government troops seized several war materials from heavily armed Communist rebels, but not after engaging them in a fierce gun battle on Friday in Agusan del Sur, regional Army spokesman Capt. Joe Patrick A. Martinez said yesterday.
Soldiers from the 26th Infantry Battalion (26th IB), under the command of Lt. Col. Rommel Pagayon, seized two AK 47 rifles, a .9mm sub-machine gun, an M14 rifle, an M16 Armalite rifle with attached M203 grenade launcher, an improvised M16 Armalite rifle, an Improvised Explosive Device (IED), 495 pieces of live ammunition for Ak47 rifle, other assorted live bulletins, personal belongings and subversive documents with high intelligence value, the regional Army spokesperson added.
The 25-minute heavy gun battle started at 12 noon on Friday in Kilometer 46, Barangay Binicalan, San Luis, Agusan del Sur.
The troops of the 26th IB were responding a call from the villagers about the presence of armed men in their highland communities.
“As promised to our people, we will respond immediately if anyone needs our help,” Pagayon said.
As of press time, a pursuit operation against the rebels, believed to be members of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) Southern Mindanao Regional Committee in the highland areas of Agusan del Sur.
Maj. Gen. Ronald C. Villanueva, commanding general of the Army’s Northeastern and Northern Mindanao Fourth Infantry (Diamond) Division (4th ID) on Sunday lauded the troops and assured the public of the military’s commitment to address the threats that are hindrance to peace and development.