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5 Reds killed in clashes

By MIKE U. CRISMUNDO

Butuan City – Five New People’s Army (NPA) rebels were killed following separate skirmishes with government forces in Agusan del Sur and Davao Oriental recently, a military and police report said.

One of the rebels fell in a gunbattle that occured 4 p.m. Sunday in Quarry 69, Sitio Agpan, Barangay Imelda, Bunawan, Agusan del Sur.

The report said two platoons from the Army’s 75th Infantry Battalion (75th IB) led by 2Lt. Begee de Jesus and 2Lt. John Arangoso were conducting Focused Military Operations (FMO) in the area when they encountered the rebels.

The firefight lasted some 15 minutes before the rebels disengaged, leaving their dead comrade behind.

No one on the government side was hurt in the incident.

Meanwhile, four rebels fell in the gunbattle that occurred in Sitio Palo Palo, Barangay Marayag, Lupon, Davao Oriental around 1 p.m. on Tuesday.

Capt. Andrew M. Linao, spokesperson of 701st Infantry Brigade, said the encounter occurred after patrolling troops of the 28th IB were alerted by residents of Barangay Marayag about rebels allegedly collecting revolutionary tax in the area.

“Our operating troops simply responded to the call and engaged the rebels,” Capt. Linao said.

Apart from the bodies of the four slain communist combatants, elements of the Army’s 28th Infantry battalion collected a number of low and high powered firearms as with several improvised explosive devices that were left by the rebels in the area following the skirmish.

In a statement, Brig. Gen. Reuben S. Basiao, commanding general of the 701st Brigade, lambasted the continued recruitment and extortion activities of the NPA.

“The NPA is desperate in implementing their recruitment efforts forcing the residents to attend their meetings and extorting the communities for their survival. However, the community is tired in believing their false promises realizing they will not benefit from the terrorists and would rather prefer to have the government on their side,” he said.

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