By Francis Wakefield
A Communist New People’s Army terrorist (CNT) was killed following an encounter with the military in Bukidnon on Sunday.
A military report disclosed that the communist terrorist was killed following an encounter with the Army’s 65th Infantry Battalion (65IB) at Brgy. Lacolac, Baungon, Bukidnon, at about 5:20 a.m.
An information was received from a concerned citizen that there are CNTs in the vicinity of Brgy. Lacolac that prompted the 65th IB to launch its operations.
Government troops were in Purok 1 of the above-mentioned barangay when they encountered CNTs belonging to the Guerilla Front Committee 68 (GF68) of the North Central Mindanao Regional Command.
The firefight lasted for 40 minutes after which the enemy scampered in different directions.
Further, troops recovered the dead body of a CNT and his M16 rifle in the encounter site. The cadaver was already turned over to the Philippine National Police (PNP) Baungon for proper disposition and identification.
“It is very unfortunate that we lost another Filipino life today when an NPA terrorist died during an encounter with the troops of 65th Infantry Battalion. This could not have happened if the leaders of said terrorist organization did not deceive and offer lies to our poor farmers and Lumads, which forced them to take up arms against the government.” Brig. Gen. Eric Vinoya said.
The government offers the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (ECLIP) to those remaining CNTs who want to abandon the armed struggle.
Maj. Gen. Ronald Villanueva, commander of the Army’s 4th Infantry Division, said the 4th ID is willing to help NPA terrorists who wish to surrender.
“We will assist them in processing for the ECLIP. I am sure many of them wanted to go home to their families and loved ones; many of them are tired of their life in the armed movement; and many of them want to experience a life away from chaos, hunger and fear of losing their lives in an encounter with our troops,” Villanueva said.
“I call on the remaining NPA terrorists not to waste your time in the failed armed revolution, these are the times that should be spent happily with your families and loved ones,” he added.