NSFA, Panacan, Davao City – The soldiers of 73rd Infantry Battalion (73IB), 10th Infantry Division, Philippine Army who were on security patrol recovered one (1) M16 rifle with magazine and a (1) rifle grenade from NPA bandits after a 30-minute firefight in Sitio Busao, Brgy. Mangulibas, Jose Abad Santos, Davao del Sur on 12:30 p.m., May 4, 2015. Pursuit operations are still on-going as of this report.
Concerned residents of the barangay tipped off the soldiers on the extortion activities of the NPA bandits in the area. According to the local officials, around 30 NPA bandits were led by alias Yoyong who immediately withdrew after the incident.
73IB Commanding Officer Lt. Col. Ronnie Felix Babac said that the troops were able to maneuver when they were fired upon in the area. “Our troops are still on their pursuit operations”, he said
It can be recalled that on February 16, 2015, Tolentino Bariquit alias ka Brigol, a ranking NPA leader and six (6) others were killed in an encounter with the soldiers of 73rd IB on security patrol in Alabel, Sarangani. Nine (9) high powered firearms were also recovered by the troops from the bandits.
As of May 4, 2015, there are already 58 high powered firearms and 14 low powered firearms recovered from the NPA bandits by the troops as a result of encounters while a total of 64 NPA members have surrendered in Eastern Mindanao since January 2015.
Meanwhile, Eastern Mindanao Command Commander Lt. Gen. Aurelio B. Baladad commended the soldiers of 73rd IB for another accomplishment. “In the spirit of Bayanihan, we are winning the peace. He cooperation of the people allow us to protect them from NPA’s harassment and deception”, Lt. Gen. Baladad said.
Press Release by EASTMINCOM