• Army step up Davao security operations

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    DAVAO CITY: A number of armed confrontations between government forces and the New People’s Army (NPA) rebels were recorded after the 10th Infantry (Agila) Divi- sion intensified its securi- ty operations in its areas of jurisdiction.

    On Feb. 6 at about 5 a.m., elements of Bravo Company of the 73rd Infantry Battalion engaged a group of fully-armed NPA rebels belonging to guerrilla front 71 of the Far South Mindanao Region (FSMR) in the boundaries of Jose Abad Santos town in Davao Occi-dental and Glan, Sarangani, Captain Rhyan Batchar, chief information officer of the 10th ID said in a statement on Monday.

    Batchar added that the second encounter took place on the same date, at about 2:30 p.m. in Sitio Binotaam, Ba-rangay Kingking, Pantukan, Compostela Valley province when troopers belonging to 46th Infantry Battalion engaged an escaping group of NPA rebels belonging to guerrilla front 2 of the Southern Mindanao Regional Committee (SMRC) led by a certain Alias Raden.

    On Feb. 7, another armed encounter that lasted for six minutes took place between the elements of 46th IB and the rebels in Sitio Logpaton, Barangay Kingking, Pantukan.

    “No soldier was hurt on these incidents while the NPAs were believed to have suffered casualties as they left behind traces of bloodstains and various personal effects and other paraphernalia after fleeing the site of the incidents,” Batchar said.

    Elements of 46th IB and 73rd IB are still conducting pursuit operations against the NPAs in their respective areas of operation.

    In the same statement, Major General Rafael Valencia, commander of 10th ID, reiterated his earlier statement that the command’s campaign against the NPAs would be relentless.

    “We will continue our peace and development initiatives for the people of Davao Region. We encourage NPA members to abandon the armed struggle and return to the folds of the law. But for those who continue to choose the path of violence, we will vigorously pursue and defeat them using legitimate force,” Valencia said.

    PNA

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