CAFGU recovers NPA rifle after encounter in Kalinga
Camp Melchor dela Cruz, Upi, Gamu, Isabela (10 October) -- A squad of CAFGU Active Auxiliary (CAA) members led by a regular soldier, Tsg. Leonardo V. Duque, from the 77th Infantry Battalion (Cadre) while conducting combat operations at Sitio Cacasiyan, Barangay Buaya, Balbalan, Kalinga recovered one M16 assault rifle after an armed encounter with more or less 10 fully armed CPP/NPA communist terrorists at about 7:00AM of October 8, 2007.
The day before the incident, Tsg. Duque reported thru radio to the Commanding Officer of the 77IBC, Lt. Col. Loreto C. Mangundayao, Jr., based at their main command post in Carrangalan, Nueva Ecija that civilians saw a group of fully armed communist terrorists moving near their village.
Lt. Col. Mangundayao sensed imminent threat and decided to take proactive measures. He immediately called to arms all the CAA members from the said detachment and ordered Tsg. Duque to conduct combat clearing operations before the next day break.
Tsg. Duque organized a squad composed of nine CAA while two brave civilians from the village volunteered to serve as guides to the troops. The troops started to move under the cover of darkness at about 4:00AM the following morning, October 8. After moving for about 3 hours, the troops while traversing in an even terrain, chanced upon the communist terrorist group, which instantaneously led in a fare and square armed engagement. The firefight lasted for 15 minutes after the government troops overwhelmed the enemy. The communist terrorists ran towards the northeast direction of the area where at least one of them is believed to be seriously hurt, if not dead, after the troops recovered one of their M16 rifle. No one was hurt on the government side.
Maj. Gen. Melchor J. Dilodilo, the Commanding General of the 5th Infantry Division, Philippine Army commends the CAA personnel and their cadre for successfully thwarting the communist terrorists from the village, putting the residents away from harm. The cooperation and vigilance of the residents in the area, by providing timely information, was a significant factor to the success of the operation. Maj. Gen. Dilodilo also lauded the exceptional courage of the civilians who volunteered to guide the troops, unmindful of their personnel safety if only to serve and protect their families and neighbors. (5ID-PA) [top]