Army troops rescue NPA chief hurt in Ifugao clash

>> Sunday, June 12, 2022

WOUNDED REBEL -- Avelino Cruz, reportedly vice commander of New People’s Army Front Operational Command-Guerrilla Front Abra-Mountain Province-Ilocos Sur, is rescued after being left behind by his comrades after a gun battle with government troops in Asipulo town, Ifugao province. -- 54th Infantry Battalion photo

ASIPULO, Ifugao -- Military troops rescued a wounded commander of the communist guerrillas after being left behind by his comrades following their firefight on Tuesday, May 24, with the rebels here authorities said.
    Capt. Karol Jay Mendoza Jr., civil-military operations officer of the 54th Infantry Battalion, identified the wounded rebel as Avelino Cruz alias Junel/Alcaras of the Front Operational Command-Guerrilla Front Abra-Mountain Province-Ilocos Sur (GF-AMPIS) under the Ilocos-Cordillera Regional Committee.
    Cruz, who is reportedly the vice commander of GF-AMPIS, was in stable condition while recuperating at a hospital in Nueva Vizcaya province.
    “If he had not been seen and saved by Army soldiers on May 26, he could have died due to loss of blood and a broken leg,” Mendoza said.
    Cruz has pending charges for multiple murder, multiple frustrated murder, and attempted murder at various courts in the Cordillera and Ilocos regions.
    As this developed, Army soldiers also donated food and helped families displaced by the clashes between Army troops and the rebels this week.
    This, as Army troops recovered three high-powered guns and other war materiel after another gun battle Tuesday with NPA rebels here, the military said.
    The firefight came after another encounter between the government troops and the NPA rebels in Barangay Namal said Capt. Mendoza Jr.
    Mendoza said the communist rebels belong to the Guerrilla Front-Abra-Mt. Province- Ilocos Sur.
    Recovered from the site of the firefight were two M-16 Armalite rifles, an M-653 baby Armalite rifle, a rifle grenade, two hand grenades, six anti-personnel landmines, and other war materials.
Soldiers said there were bloodstains on the withdrawal path of the rebels.
    “The use of anti-personnel landmines by the rebels is a clear violation of the Comprehensive Agreement on Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CAHR-IHL), which prohibits any land mines in warfare,” Lt. Col. Franz Josef Diamante, 54th IB commander, said.
    On Monday, the soldiers found four anti-personnel mines with 40-meter wire, 20-piece blasting caps, medical kits, anti-government documents, and personal belongings after a 20-minute running gun battle against the rebels at Sitio Likew in Asipulo.


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