NPA suffers heavy losses in separate skirmishes

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GOVERNMENT security forces on Thursday prevailed in two separate encounters with the communist New People’s Army (NPA) inflicting an undetermined number of casualties on the rebel side and the capture of two others.

The first encounter took place on Thursday in the forested area of Barangay Siuton, Magallanes, Sorsogon between operating troops of the 31st Infantry Battalion and a group of rebels who were out to implement its permit-to-campaign/permit-to-win sche­me on some political candidates in that municipality.

Col. Teody Toribio, commanding officer of the 31IB, said the firefight lasted for 10 minutes but the rebels later withdrew, leaving behind two of their comrades who were forced to surrender.

“We heard voices shouting for surrender, I immediately ordered for a ceasefire to my men,” said Capt. Christopher Santander, head of the operating team. “They were laying face down on the ground with their firearms by their side when they were captured.”

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Toribio identified the rebels as Judy Torres alias Ka Roy, 33, of Barangay Dolos, Bulan, Sorsogon while the other was Jomar Gra­cilla a.k.a. Marvin 19, of Baran­gay Pili, Magallanes, Sorsogon.

The encounter was the second in three days in Bicol. On April 29, soldiers of the 83rd Infantry Battalion in Catanduanes encountered NPA rebels in San Andres town.

Over in Agusan del Sur, joints elements of the 75 Infantry Battalion and the police Special Action Force lso encountered some 10 fully armed rebels in Road 88, Barangay Bunawan Brooks, Bunawan.

William B. Depasupil

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