1 soldier wounded, NPA rebs hurt in Ilocos Sur encounter

>> Sunday, October 8, 2017

By Freddie Lazaro

SANTA,CRUZ , Ilocos Sur — Government troops are pursuing New People’s Army guerillas here after a soldier was wounded and undetermined number of rebels were reportedly injured in an encounter at the outskirt village of Barangay Madarang, Salcedo, Ilocos Sur shortly after noontime Sept. 16.
Lt. Colonel Eugenio Julio C Osias, commander of the army’s 81st Infantry Battalion, confirmed the encounter which happened at about 1:30 p.m.
Before the encounter, the soldiers were responded to the reports from residents of Barangay Madarang who were already fed up with NPA’s extortion activities.
“Exhausted from the repeated extortions conducted by NPA rebels in the remote area of Ilocos Sur, the people in the community provided vital information to our troopers regarding the location and whereabouts of said rebels; and in response, our troops conducted intensive military operations against Platun South Ilocos Sur (Platun SIS),” he said..
“When our troops have reached the vicinity of Barangay Madarang, they encountered more or less 15 fully armed NPA rebels which resulted to a 30-minute gunfight,” he added.
It was also reported that the NPA rebels were forced to scamper from the encounter site dragging their wounded comrades after they were overpowered by pursuing soldiers.
During the clearing operation, Osias said they recovered one M653 Rifle, two rifle grenades, three improvised explosive devices (IEDs), one binocular, 50-meter-long wire, one Icom radio with two chargers, documents, personal belongings and medical paraphernalia.
He said the identity of the wounded soldier is still withheld prior to notification of his next of kin. His troops however are conducting relentless pursuit operation against the escaping communist rebels while they are still determining NPA casualties based on the traces of blood in the area.
“We are appealing to all sectors of the society, especially to our local elected officials, to cooperate with their government security forces. It is not just us, the Army that will solve this insurgency, but all of us. What we are doing is not just for ourselves but for the people of Ilocos Sur, and the Filipino people, as a whole,” Osias said.
For his part, Major General Angelito M. De Leon, commander of the army’s 7th Infantry Division, commended the soldiers belonging to the 81st IB in their constant effort to defeat NPA rebels in Ilocos Sur and also thanked the local residents of Salcedo for cooperating with their Army.
“For almost six months now, we have been tracking them down, monitoring their movements and making coordination with the local residents whom they have disturbed. This is the third encounter since July, and this is a clear manifestation that the community is with us in ending the problem of insurgency in Ilocos Sur.”, said Colonel Henry A. Robinson Jr., commander of the army’s 702nd Brigade.


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