TUGUEGARAO CITY, Philippines- A member of the New People’s Army (NPA) was killed in a clash with troops of the Northern Luzon Command (NoLCom) in Apayao province on Friday, June 8.
NoLCom confirmed in a press release that a certain Danao Gualo Besuitan was killed during the 15-minute firefight in Sitio Aggingay Bassit, Barangay Malayugan, Flora, Apayao at around 11:30 AM, Friday.
Besuitan was from Barangay Bural, Rizal, Cagayan, NoLCom spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Isagani Nato.
The kill was also confirmed by 17IB Commander Lieutenant Colonel Camilo Saddam. Saddam added that the military seized documents and equipment of NPA rebels from the encounter site.
The army said soldiers from the “A” Company of the 17th Infantry Battalion (17IB), under the joint task force “TALA” of the 5th Infantry Division (5ID) engaged with over 20 NPA terrorists.
Government troops were conducting focused military operation (FMO) in the NPA affected areas in the said province.
After the encounter, remaining members of the terrorist group fled southwest. Troops also recovered from the clash site an M4 rifle.
The army noted that local residents in the said barangay provided the military with information on the NPA’s presence in the area.
NoLCom reported no casualties from their troops but the army said they will continue pursuit operations against remnants of the communist guerrilla group.
“NoLCom forces will continue to deliver hard blows to the NPA terrorists, keeping them on the run and preventing them from further conducting hostile actions that is detrimental to the peace and stability of the province and adjacent regions,” the army said.
Earlier this week, seven soldiers were wounded in a clash between government troops and NPA rebels in Echague, Isabela. (READ: 7 soldiers hurt in Isabela military, NPA clash)
NoLCom Commander Lieutenant General Emmanuel Salamat has visited the wounded soldiers of 86IB at 5ID station hospital in Camp Melchor Dela Cruz on Tuesday, June 5.
Salamat also pinned a medal to the wounded personnel, provided financial assistance and grocery items to the families of the wounded soldiers. The said activity was witnessed by 5ID Commander Major General Perfecto Rimando Jr.
Over the radio, Salamat said the death of the rebel would have been prevented had the rebels heeded the government’s call to surrender and return to the nation’s care.
Meanwhile, the government and the communist rebels have proposed to hold a June 14 “cessation of hostilities” before the resumption of peace talks. Northernforum.net