CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY: The military killed two rebels of the New People’s Army (NPA) in an early morning raid on Friday in the mountain of Kitanglad in Bukidnon, an army official said here.
Col. Jessie Alvarez, commanding officer of the Philippine Army’s 403rd Brigade in Malaybalay, Bukidnon, said government troopers raided and overran the NPA camp in the mountains of Kitanglad at past 2:00 am on Friday.
He said the rebels, who scampered to various directions, were caught by surprise as the advancing government troopers fired on the hillside camp, one of the highest mountain peaks in Mindanao.
Alvarez said a sniper picked one of the NPA rebels, probably a lookout, before the raiding team went to overrun the camp manned by about 30 rebels.
He said the army recovered another body as the raiding team scoured the abandoned rebel camp, a sub-regional command of the NPA’s North Central Mindanao Committee, responsible for the raid of various agriculture-based firms in Bukidnon.
Alvarez said government troopers would bring down the unidentified bodies of the NPA rebels to Sil-ipon in Libona, Bukidnon so they could be claimed by relatives or friends.
He said the army’s raiding team initially recovered assorted bullets, magazines, firearms and other subversive documents at the campsite. There was no report of casualties on the government side, Alvarez said.
The military is still in hot pursuit of the rebels.
For the past weeks, soldiers were engaged in several running armed skirmishes with the NPA rebels as fresh fighting erupted anew in the provinces of Misamis Oriental and Bukidnon.
In Misamis Oriental, more than 300 individuals, mostly farmers in the hinterlands of Lagonglong and Balingasag, have returned home after staying for more than a week in various evacuation centers because of the clashes.
Two soldiers and a civilian were killed while four others were wounded in the running gun battle in Misamis Oriental prior to the Bukidnon raid.