Army troopers seize big NPA camp in Abra
By Freddie G. Lazaro
Narvacan, Ilocos Sur (November 11) -- Government troops of the Army's 41st Infantry Battalion overran a big camp believed to be the headquarters of the New People's Army (NPA) operating in Cordillera region's provinces located near a mining site in the outskirt of Sitio Sap-al, Barangay Buneg, Lacub, Abra last Wednesday morning.
Before the discovery of the camp, the soldiers engaged a brief firefight with the NPA rebels. The army troopers were able to gain vantage ground position during the encounter which prompted the rebels to withdraw towards the forested area leaving behind some of their high powered firearms, personnel belongings, subversive documents and supplies.
Lieutenant Colonel Noel P Baluyan, commander of the Army's 41st Infantry Battalion, said in his report to Colonel Danny Pabunan, Commander of the Army's 503rd Brigade, that his troops recovered one M16 rifle, one shotgun rifle, several weapons accessories and Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) like the three claymore mines.
Other items recovered were computer equipment and accessories; a Laptop computer, a Multi Media (In focus) Projector, a Computer printer, one Portable Amplifier, dozens of HH radio antennae, Handheld radio rechargeable batteries, one Guitar and assorted CDs, foodstuff and medicines, personal belongings and voluminous subversive documents with instructional tarpaulins and communist flags.
Baluyan disclosed that a mini hydro Dynamo was also recovered which the rebels' use as their source of electricity.
"With the discovery of the computer equipment and accessories, it shows that the rebels were conducting trainings with a big number of audiences," he said.
According to Baluyan, the local miners and civilians from the area have been bothered by the extortion activities of the NPA rebels that prompted them to report the presence of their encampment.
The encampment is the staging point of the NPA terrorists activities such as extortion of businessmen, mayors, sangguniang bayan members, barangay chairmen and peasant farmers in nearby villages and the whole province, he said.
"One of the informants from Lacub disclosed that the NPA terrorists did not care about the poor farmers in the area, they demanded rice from each household and worst they ordered the locals to carry the sacks of rice to encampment. No wonder, they had 12 sacks of rice stocked in the camp," he added.
He also said that the captured mini-hydro dynamo was said to have been donated by NGOs purposely for the remote barangays of Lacub that were not reached by the ABRECO power lines.
"The stockpile of medical supplies also indicates that they attempted to treat their wounded comrades from the recent skirmish at Licuan-Baay area last October 30. Follow-up reports after that skirmish stated that the NPA terrorists have brought their wounded at Lacub area for medication," he stressed.
Meanwhile, Lacub town mayor Estelita Bersamina disclosed during her press interview that her constituents are urging her to increase the security forces in the town to evict the NPA rebels there.
"We have always wanted those NPAs out of Lacub so that we can proceed with our programs in the barangays," she said.
For his part, Colonel Pabunan assured his full security support for the people of Lacub town.
He also said that the Army is willing to extend help to those wounded NPA rebels for their medication if they are willing to return to the folds of the law. (PIA Ilocos Sur) [top]