Troopers from the 15th Division Reconnaissance Company and 55th Infantry Battalion captured the main camp of the New People’s Army (NPA) under Western Mindanao Regional Party Committee (WMRPC) in Bonifacio town, Misamis Occidental following a series of operations that started Monday and ended Tuesday afternoon.
The above-mentioned units are under the Zamboanga Del Sur-based 1st Infantry Division.
Capt. Jefferson Mamauag, 1st Infantry Division spokesperson, said the rebel base was captured following a series of encounters with rebel forces in Barangays Canao Canao and Mapurog.
He added that initial firefight started Monday around 10:00 a.m.
Mamauag stated that the last gun battle ended 4:30 p.m. Tuesday and this resulted in the capture of the WMRPC main camp located in a very defensible terrain.
The 1st Infantry Division spokesperson said the fleeing NPA fighters left behind their personal belongings, subversive documents, propaganda materials, foodstuff, one hand grenade, one K-G9 sub-machinegun, one sack of medical kit, assorted ammunition and electrical wirings, four blasting caps, detonator switch, six small radio and one cellphone used for making trigger devices for improvised explosive device or landmines.
The captured rebel base can can accommodate more or less 100 rebel fighters with 70 bunkers, four advance posts with water point and with enough space that can serve as basketball, volleyball with place for their teaching and training.
The military learned of the WMRPC main camp location from concerned residents long tired of the rebels’ extortion and intimidation tactics.
Mamauag said one trooper was killed while five others were wounded in the series of operations.
He added that the NPA sustained an undetermined number of casualties and fatalities as evidenced on the blood trails uncovered in the nearby forests.
“As of now, names of the casualties are withheld pending the notification of next-of-kin. Clearing operations are still ongoing,” he said. PNA