TWELVE suspected members of the New People’s Army (NPA) were intercepted at a checkpoint by government forces in Nasugbu, Batangas following an encounter with the communist armed group, a military spokesman said on Tuesday.
Capt. Melchor Durante of the Philippine Army’s 2nd Infantry Division said, however, that of the 12, three managed to escape, leaving nine who were placed under police custody.
Durante said that as of posting time, the three escapees were being pursued.
“[T]he ongoing hot pursuit operations have fractured the large group of terrorists who were involved in the said encounter,” Durante said in a statement.
Durante said civilians in the area have reported that the NPA members, whom they refer to as “terrorists,” were hiding within the encounter site.
Durante said elements of the Philippine National Police (PNP) in Nasugbu were able to flag down a jeepney where the 12 individuals were aboard.
He said that the arrests were made after the encounter between the Philippine Air Force’s 730th Combat Group and the NPA at about 8:18 a.m. on Monday.
In a report, Brig. Gen. Arnulfo Marcelo Burgos Jr., commander of the Philippine Army’s 202nd Infantry Brigade, said an encampment of the NPA was discovered on Sunday by the Air Force combat group. DEMPSEY REYES