SHARIFF AGUAK, Maguindanao: A wounded member of the New People’s Army (NPA) was captured by the military during a gunfight in Makilala, North Cotabato on Saturday.
The rebel was identified as Randy Anggit Indo, 42, of the Guerrilla Front 51. Recovered from him were several roadside bombs.
Indo was brought by personnel of the 39th Infantry Battalion (39IB) to a hospital for treatment of the wounds he sustained.
He was among the more than 30 NPAs who figured in running gunbattle with members of the 39IB on Saturday in Barangay Batasan in Makilala, one of the towns in North Cotabato where NPA guerrillas operate.
The hostilities erupted when Indo and his companions opened fire on soldiers and militiamen dispatched to check the reported presence of NPAs in the village allegedly collecting protection money from residents at gunpoint.
Two soldiers were wounded in the ensuing skirmishes, according to Lt. Col. Harold Argamosa, 39IB commander.
According to village residents Indo was one of five NPAs wounded in the encounter. He was abandoned by his fleeing comrades in nearby Barangay Biangan.
Argamosa said the rebels also left an M-16 assault rifle and three improvised explosive devices (IEDs) along their escape route as they fled in haste.
“We treat wounded enemies with compassion in keeping with International Humanitarian Laws. He (Indo) will be turned over properly either to the Makilala municipal police or the North Cotabato provincial police office,” Argamosa said.
Ordnance experts immediately deactivated the IEDs that soldiers recovered at the scene of the encounter.
The NPAs, according to the military, are known for their wanton use of “victim-activated” IEDs, such as booby traps and roadside bombs, against villagers they suspect of conniving with the military.
JULMUNIR I. JANNARAL