PH troops score in clash with NPA rebels

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ZAMBOANGA CITY: Government troops clashed with communist rebels killing a still undetermined number of gunmen in the southern Philippines, officials said Friday.

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Brigadier General Jonathan Ponce, commander of the 402nd Infantry Brigade, said the fighting erupted in the village of Rojales in Agusan del Norte’s Carmen town after troops engaged a group of New People’s Army in a running gunbattle.

He said there were no military casualties in the fighting and that troops under the 29th Infantry Battalion recovered three M16 automatic rifles, one Ak47 assault rifle, one Carbine rifle, one M203 grenade launcher, two homemade guns and two .45-caliber pistols and rifle grenades, including assorted munitions left behind by rebels.

“The fighting was fierce and there were reports that the NPA suffered casualties and based on the weapons we have recovered there could be substantial losses on the part of the rebel group,” Ponce told The Manila Times by phone from his headquarters in the province.

Ponce also praised the soldiers for their successful mission.

Communist rebels are still holding three policemen – PO3 Democrito Polvorosa, PO1 Marichel Contemplo and PO1 Junrie Amper – as prisoners of war since last year and have repeatedly demanded the pull out of troops in the neighboring Surigao del Norte province to allow their safe release.

The NPA recently released provincial jail warden of Compostela, Jose Coquilla, and also Pvts. Marnel Cinches and Jerrel Yurong in Bukidnon province in northern Mindanao for humanitarian reasons following their capture in August last year in Impasug-ong town; and also Pfc. Alvin Ricarte and Cpl. Benjamin Samano in Compostela Valley province.

There was no immediate statement from the NPA about the latest fighting, but the rebel group has been waging a separatist war for many decades now in an effort to put up a Maoist state in the country. AL JACINTO

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  1. There is so much trouble in Mindanao. We have the NPA, and we have the MILF . The National Government must not be too responsive for the demands of the people or are denied the basic services that a government should provide. Metro Manila gets all the attention and the cake while Mindanao gets the crumbs There is not much opportunity except the slave labor for big international corporations and greedy capitalist.
    There are several options that i would suggest to our brainless and spineless leaders to consider.Most of the region are run by corrupt, incompetent and dynastic leaders,and the region is a sanctuary of uncontrollable rebels,insurgents and Islamic terrorists.First is for congress to declare the whole region as dangerous and unstable area, then declare a war on terror. Martial law will be imposed and the Military will manage the whole region devoid of dirty politicians. All the homeless and the indigents will be resettled in a government and military controlled kibbutzim where residents will work as a team or a commune in a self contained community.
    There will be complete freedom of worship and speech as long as they do not incite rebellion.Technocrats will be aggressively recruited and employed . Services, planning and development will be outsourced to well known businesses and corporations and even partnership with foreign governments will be encouraged in massive infrastructure projects.All firearms and ammunition will be searched house to house and confiscated and a total ban on firearm possession will be imposed..There will be complete freedom of movement and commerce but should comply with the military rules and regulations.All government transactions and contracts shall be transparent and audited free from any anomalies.