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PIA Press Release

8th ID continues to gain ground vs NPAs in Region 8

Tacloban City (November 10) -- Major General Mario Chan, commander of the 8th Infantry Division of the Philippine Army commended collaborative efforts of the civilians in the islands of Samar and the government forces who he credited the successive triumphs in the fight versus insurgency in Region 8.

"The success of our campaign could not be possible without the support of our people whom we are serving. While I am congratulating the 8ID troops for their selfless sacrifices, I would also like to commend the civilians who go out of their way to contribute to our common aspirations."

"Though we are gaining grounds against the terrorist, I am also saddened to note that somebody's life has to be sacrificed," Major General Chan said.

Major General Chan had a reason to make such pronouncement. A week after the successful encounter of the 8th Infantry Division's 20th IB that resulted to the recovery of high powered firearms, another feat marked the Division's successful ISO campaign when the 14IB successfully overran a New People's Army's (NPA) camp in the hinterlands of Sitio Sapia, Barangat Magsaysay, Mac- Arthur, Eastern Samar around 1:25 in the afternoon of Sunday, November 7, 2010.

Initial reports which reached the 8th ID headquarters from Lieutenant Colonel Hermilo Demafiles, 14IB's commanding officer disclosed that the troops under First Lieutenant Dagpin were conducting a security patrol when an undisclosed civilian approached and informed them of the presence of armed men allegedly seen in the aforesaid place.

First Lieutenant Dagpin diverted his troop towards the mentioned area where they intercepted around 30 armed terrorists under certain Gavino Guarino alias Mael. A firefight ensued and lasted for about 30. The rebels fled away towards Sitio Carbon, Brgy. Huknan, Giporlos of same province after suffering heavy casualty leaving their camp in a disastrous condition. No one was reported hurt on the side of the government.

Recovered from the area of encounter were three (3) M16 rifles of the fallen terrorists, M14 rifle's bolt assembly, pair of M16 rifles hand guard, 10 backpacks, assorted magazines of M16 and M14 rifles with live ammos, personal belongings and voluminous subversive document with significant value.

Major General Chan said that with the continuous conduct of the Division's combat operations and especially with the unwavering support of the people to thwart the enemy in the area, the terrorists today have nowhere to hide.

Moreover, General Chan reiterated his previous call to the members of the underground movement to lay down their arms and re-embrace the genuine spirit of freedom and democracy for the sake of the succeeding generations.

"I once again call upon our brothers and sisters, whom I considered victims of Communist's deceptive ploy, to embrace the governments means to re-integrate to our mainstream society to avoid the unnecessary lost of lives being brought by these armed confrontations. Our government is very much willing to give them a second chance for the sake of peace and democracy," Major General Chan said.

Meanwhile, Lieutenant General Arturo Ortiz and Lieutenant General Ralph Villanueva, Philippine Army's Commanding General and Commander of Central Command, respectively, have also conveyed their deep appreciation and satisfaction to the 8ID troopers for consistently bringing forth success in addressing the issue on the threat groups that will lead towards the road to true peace and development in Region 8. (PIA 8 opt) [top]

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