By Bonita Ermac
ILIGAN CITY – Troops belonging to the 51st Infantry battalion encountered at 30 Communist rebels in sitio Bukana barangay Mainit, Tuesday morning January 15.
According to the military, the group’s movement had earlier been monitored that led the troops into engaging the rebels in a firefight for almost 45 minutes.
“This is a deliberate operations actually, we’ve been watching out for them for several days already…. the fact na na-encounter natin sila, ma-realize nila na wala silang pagtatagu-an dito”, said Brig. Gen. Thomas R. Sedano, Jr., Second Mechanized Infantry (Magbalabtay) Brigade commander.
According to him, the New People’s Army (NPA) was known to pass by this city whenever it had to operate in Bukidnon.
There was no casualty reported from the government forces.
Mayor Celso G. Regencia said the NPA terrorists broke up into smaller groups when they made their retreat towards Barangays Panoroganan, Dulag, and Kalilangan.
He assured Iliganons about their safety as government forces have already been put on alert.
City Social Welfare Department head Grace Saquilabon said they have immediately given support to 218 families who evacuated due to the incident.