By Mike U. Crismundo
Camp Bancasi, Butuan City – Pursuing combat troops of the Army’s 29th Infantry Battalion (29th IB) on Tuesday captured a New People’s Army (NPA) encampment in the forested mountain area of San Roque in Kitcharao town, Agusan del Norte province.
Pursuing combat troops of the 29th IB also killed one NPA rebel and wounded an undetermined number of rebels during the gunfight, said 26th IB commander Lt. Col. Glen Aynera.
The slain rebel was not immediately identified , but was said to be a member of guerilla-Front Committee 16-A of the CPP-NPA Northeastern Mindanao Regional Committee (NEMRC), Aynera said.
The NPA encampment is located about 1.5 kilometers from barangay proper of San Roque, in Kitcharao town.The raiders said it had 12 make-shift huts, a kitchen and listening posts with running trenches.
“Tuloy ang aming pursuit operation against the fleeing rebels while our peace and development will also step up in Agusan del Norte,” added the 29th IB commander.
On Monday, the same unit captured high powered weapons during a fierce gun battle with communist insurgents in nearby Barangay San Roque of that same town.
In that battle, 29th IB troops seized from the NPAs four AK 47 rifles, one M16 Armalite rifle, one M14 rifle, landmines, assorted ammunitions, handheld radios, subversive documents, medical supplies and foodstuffs left by the NPAs in the encounter site.
“The NPA presence was earlier reported by the villagers of Barangay San Roque which prompted us to pursue them”, Lt. Col. Aynera said.
As of this posting, Colonel Nemesio Gacal, commanding officer of the 401st Infantry brigade ordered Col. Aynera to step up their pursuit operations against the rebels in San Roque area.
Meanwhile, Maj. Gen. Ronald Villanueva, commanding general of the Army’s Northeastern and Northern Mindanao 4th Infantry (Diamond) Division (4th ID), on Wednesday commended the operating 29th IB troops for “clearing the enemy line” in Agusan del Norte.
“The villagers are already fed up with the deceptions and terrorist activities of this group and there will be no let- up on our operation,” Maj. Gen. Villanueva added.