By Mike U. Crismundo
Butuan City – A gun battle between government forces and an undetermined number of communist insurgents erupted in a far-flung village in Agusan del Sur town, a sketchy report reaching this region’s premier and capital city of Butuan yesterday said.
There was no casualty on the government side in an initial report reaching the regional command and tactical operation center of Northeastern Mindanao Police Regional Office 13 (PRO 13).
Chief Supt. Rolando B. Felix, Director of PRO 13, ordered Agusan del Sur Police Provincial Office (PPO) Director Sr. Supt. Joseph D. Plaza to send more troops in the conflict area to beef up the forces of the Third Maneuvering Company and Agusan del Sur Provincial Public Safety Company, led by Sr. Inspectors Mohammad Fahad D. Julwadi and Jovierick S. Decapia.
Troops seized a cache of live ammunitions for an M16 Armalite rifle, an AK 47 rifle, M203 grenade launchers, bomb materials used for improvised explosive device (IEDs), personal belongings, food stuffs, subversive documents with high intelligence value and other war materials.
Initially, the police force and elements of Alpha Company of the Army’s 26thInfantry Battallion led by Capt. Jerson Baleros engaged the New People’s Army (NPA) rebels at 11:50 a.m. on Friday.
A heavy firefight took place in Sitio Palo, Purok Loring, Barangay Sta. Cruz, Rosario, Agusan del Sur, a field report said.