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PIA Press Release

Troops on rescue mission overrun NPA camp, recover 4 bombs; 2 rebs killed

by Cpt Emmanuel R Garcia (INF)

Camp Apolinario, Panacan, Davao City (29 June) -- Two New People's Army (NPA) kidnappers were killed while bombs and firearms were recovered by government troops following a clash in Sitio (sub-village) Carampel in the village of Aliwagwag in Cateel town in Davao Oriental province 6:00 AM today.

Elements of 25th Infantry Battalion (25IB) on a mission to rescue two government troops kidnapped by the NPA caught-up with about 50 abductors belonging to Local Terrorist Front-20 and Local Terrorist Front-3 in an encampment and a 30-minute gunbattle ensued which resulted to the death of the still unidentified two NPAs left by their comrades.

Troops overran the encampment with 40 wooden bunkers and recovered four Improvised Explosive Devices (IED), four M-16 assault rifles and two carbine rifles.

It may be recalled that last week, NPAs kidnapped Staff Sergeant Bienvenido Arguilles together with Cafgu Job Latiban and divested people of cellphones and personal belongings in an NPA checkpoint in the nearby town of Monkayo in Compostela Valley Province adjacent to Cateel town.

Lt. Col. Gilbert Saret, commander of 25IB said "it is still part of our efforts to rescue the victims and safely bring them back to their families. We recovered the personal belongings of SSg Arguilles and we will continue with the rescue operation."

Saret also added that "The camp can accommodate at least 100 and we believe they suffered many casualties as our troops saw at least six being dragged by their comrades as they fled and confirmed by people they passed by. We still have to determine if those six NPAs were dead or just wounded"

"Once again, we offer our hand in reconciliation but we will pursue and make criminals face the full force of the law. These criminals will pay for the crimes they committed against the country and against the people." said Maj. Gen. Carlos Holganza, commander of 10th Infantry Division.

"Our effort to safeguard our people from harm brought by terrorism is gaining grounds with the recovery of four IEDs. We hope to recover more of these IEDs to make our citizens safe." Holganza added.

The latest recovery of bombs now pegs the record to 36 IEDs recovered by troops in Southern Mindanao for this year alone.

Last year, 11 IEDs were blown by NPAs in Davao region killing 11 individuals and wounded 30 others. (PA) [top]

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