SECURITY forces foiled an alleged plot of the New People’s Army (NPA) to attack two economic installations in Bukidnon and arrested 12 suspected rebels, seven of them minors following a clash over the weekend, belated reports reaching Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City (Metro Manila) said on Sunday.
The report did not identify the arrested persons, who the military authorities said were immediately turned over to the police and the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD). The five adults were charged with illegal possession of ammunition and attempted murder.
Capt. Norman Tagros, public affairs officer of the Philippine Army’s 8th Infantry Battalion, 4th Infantry Division, said the arrest of the 12 came following an encounter with the band of NPA belonging to Samahang Partido Propaganda 5, Guerilla Front 6, North Central Mindanao Regional Committee at the outskirts of Barangay Delapa, Quezon, Bukidnon over the weekend.
Tagros said the firefight lasted for about 20 minutes. No casualties were reported on the government side while the Army believed there were a number of rebels who were either killed or wounded as bloodstains were seen on their withdrawal route.
As the government troops were conducting clearing operations, the 12 suspected rebels were arrested in the encounter site. Found on their possessions were ammunitions, magazines and trigger mechanism for an AK-47 assault rifle.
According to Tagros, the security operations was conducted by the Army in response to repeated reports of local residents in the area about the presence of NPA rebels near their community whom they revealed were allegedly planning to attack vital economic installations in the areas of the municipality of Quezon and Valencia City in Bukidnon.