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PIA Press Release

Davao NPAs on the run, says Army official

'Successive encounters in Davao show NPA has nowhere to go'

Davao City (31 May) -- An Army spokesman said that three successive encounters today of elements of the 5th Scout Ranger Company with the New People's Army (NPA) in Sibulan in Toril district here are an indication that the NPAs have nowhere to go as civilians "have been informing our troops on the presence of terrorists."

Cpt Emmanuel R Garcia (INF) reported that "troops of the 5th Scout Ranger Company clashed with NPA terrorists in Sitio Mitondo 9:30 AM and after fifteen minutes, soldiers from the 69th Infantry Battalion engaged another group of terrorists four kilometres away at Sitio Mamaon. In both instances, the NPAs fled and concealed themselves but just like the previous encounters, people informed our troops of their whereabouts."

Cpt Garcia's report continues:

"A few hours after the two successive clashes, troops from the 5th Scout Ranger Company again engaged the NPAs at 1:45 PM in Sitio Mitondo and again the terrorists fled from the fight. Our troops however suffered casualties due to the Improvised Explosive Devise which the terrorist blew-up along the way.

"The use of IED by the NPA shows their treacherous method as a terrorist organization. It is an utter disregard to the safety of non-combatants to place IEDs along the way where ordinary people might get hurt as in many previous incidents in the region attest.

"Our respect goes to Pfc. Melencio Dalisay who was killed by a terrorist weapon, an IED planted along the way were people also travel. Seven other soldiers were wounded in the blast.

"The terrorists have suffered casualties in the series of clashes but have repeatedly denied them as their standard lie to project an image of strength. As in the past, they burry their men in shallow graves in the mountains and deny them of a Christian burial.

"While they deny their men of dignity, we will always be proud of our soldiers who have made the supreme sacrifice in serving our people as they are and will always be a pride to our country.

"We cannot and we will not hide our casualties as it is an affront to the dignity of the Filipino fighting men who have served this country with great honor in defense of our people against terrorists. The death of our soldier only embolden the rest of the fighting troops to strive without let-up in bringing to justice those responsible in the attacks against the people.

"Today's events achieved three things:

"First, it is clear that our citizens are tired of the anti-people, anti-development and anti-Christian ways of the NPAs thus given the chance; they will fully cooperate with authorities against terrorists;

"Second, the reputation of the CPP-NPA-NDF as a terrorist organization was further cemented by their treacherous methods particularly in using IEDs and even planting them along roads (and in some cases, on bridges);

"Third, their arrogant display of joy in the death and wounding of soldiers show their callousness and evil intent while the continued denial on their casualties show their disrespect towards their own men.

"We will always respect our citizens and we will always respect our own men. The true soldiers of the people will continue to protect the masses even at the sacrifice of their own life so that progress and development can find its way to our communities particularly in the countryside." (PA) [top]

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