Camp Peralta, Jamindan, Capiz – The Philippine Army in Negros recovered a total of thirteen (13) firearms in span of one (1) week, one (1) NPA rebel killed in an encounter, while three (3) NPA militiamen yielded recently.
Troops of 11th Infantry Battalion figured in an encounter with the NPA rebels at Sitio Mainit, Brgy Santol, Binalbagan, Negros Occidental at 6:15 a.m. yesterday July 14, 2014.
Lt. Col. Paulito Idul, Commanding Officer of 11IB said that his troops were conducting security operations in said village when they were fired upon by more or less twenty (20) lawless armed elements believed to be members of Central Negros Front, Komiteng Rehiyonal-Negros (CNF, KR-N) of the CPP-NPA.
The troops resorted to fire back and a fire fight ensued and lasted for almost three (3) hours before the rebels withdrew to different directions.
The encounter resulted to the killing of one (1) NPA member, a certain Jerry Dorillo, a member of Sandatahang Platoon Pampropaganda 1 (SPP1) of CNF, KR-Negros.
Recovered in the encounter area were eight (8) firearms consist of one (1) improvised M14 single shot, four (4) shotguns, two (2) Cal .357 and one (1) Cal. 45 with several assorted live ammunition.
It was also reported earlier that nine (9) suspected NPA rebels were captured during the encounter. The two (2) personalities, after some inquiry were released and turned over to the local officials of Santol.
In cooperation with the barangay officials of Santol under its chairman Eugene Ogatis, the seven (7) other personalities were turned-over together with the assorted firearms and ammunition to Binalbagan Municipal Police Station for medical check-up, investigation and proper disposition.
In observance to human rights and the rule of law, the suspected rebels were treated humanely and apprised of their constitutional rights. They were released by Binalbagan PNP to barangay chairman of Santol after the investigation and custodial debriefing.
Meanwhile, three (3) Yunit Militiamen in Binalbagan yielded recently to the Philippine Army and traded five (5) firearms in the name of peace.
Last July 9, a certain alias JOHNNY and alias TIMTIM turned over themselves to the personnel of 11IB in Sitio Karanawan, Brgy Amontay, Binalbagan, Negros Occidental.
Alias TIMTIM voluntarily turned over one (1) M2 Carbine, one (1) 12-gauge shotgun and one (1) Cal .38 revolver all with several live ammunition.
On July 10, a certain alias GREG of the same barangay in Binalbagan also voluntarily turned over himself to the Philippine Army together with one (1) Cal .357 and one (1) Cal .38 revolvers all fully loaded with live ammunition.
Major General Aurelio Baladad, Commander of 3ID lauded the efforts of 11IB soldiers and commended their professionalism and observance to human rights and rule of law.
Baladad also acknowledged the efforts of the residents of Binalbagan for providing the information and for ensuring that their community is away from any threat and intimidation of these lawless armed elements.
However, he also expressed his sympathy to the family and relatives of the NPA rebel who was killed in encounter.
“This is a big development in our efforts to bring peace and development in the province of Negros Occidental. This is likewise a big blow to the CPP-NPA and will definitely contribute to the peaceful environment in Negros Island.” Baladad said.
In first semester of this year, a total of twenty (20) CPP-NPA members in Negros Island laid down their arms and returned to the government folds.
The 3ID is likewise looking at more NPA members to lay down their arms, return to mainstream of society and contribute in its march to regional peace and progress.
Meanwhile, the Philippine Army in Western Visayas continues to support the persistent call for peace of various groups and individuals.
Baladad said “We join in the collective call for the CPP-NPA to end armed struggle and return to mainstream of society. Our aspiration for a sustained peace and development cannot be realized through the barrel of a gun. We can only attain our aspiration if we work together peacefully.”
Troops are now conducting pursuit operations to run after the fleeing rebels while the members of the Philippine National Police Scene of the Crime Operatives (SOCO) from Binalbagan conducted investigation in the encounter site.
Likewise, coordination is being made with the local officials of Binalbagan for the assistance that will be extended for the decent burial of the slain NPA member.
(Press release and photos from DPAO, 3ID, PA)