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PIA Press Release

NPA band cornered in Bondoc Peninsula

Camp Guillermo Nakar, Lucena City (28 November) -- NPA members belonging to the combined group of Plager Magtanggol and KSPN (Komiteng Seksyon sa Platun) Buela of Kilusang Larangang Guerilla (KLG) 41 were cornered in the Bondoc Peninsula early this morning at about 7:00am.

Government troops from the 74th Infantry Battalion, proving that the NPAs will only thrive in sympathetic communities, received an information tip from concerned civilians on the presence of NPA rebels in San Narciso town. Lt Col Amado Bustillos, 74IB chief, in charge of continuous combat operations in the area tasked his Delta Company to track the rebels.

Delta Company Commander Lieutenant Melchor Zarandona was in San Narciso town on combat patrol when he got the report. He was able to corner the 30-member NPA band in two groups in Brgy Punta. An hour's firefight started at about 7 with sporadic exchange of gunfire heard lasting up to 12 noon.

Brigadier General Romeo Lustestica, 201st Infantry Brigade Commander in charge of the campaign in the Bondoc Peninsula , reported to 2nd Infantry Division Chief Major General Fernando Mesa that the rebels suffered a great deal. "Prior to this decisive encounter, the people of San Narciso have started realizing the evils of the CPP/NPA/NDF. They have approached us and wanted to severe ties with the repressive terrorist group. Information is being offered. The NPAs have nowhere to go", Brig Gen Lustestica reported.

Maj Gen Mesa directed the 201st Infantry Brigade to ensure that civilians are protected and that the NPAs are constricted and cornered. "Do work with the people of Bondoc Peninsula who have decided to do away with the NPA rebels. Protect them", Maj Gen Mesa said.

The encounter disproves an earlier claim of an alleged human rights group that government troops are making their lives miserable. The AFP is in the area because of the presence of the NPAs and the encounter shows that indeed the terrorist group is there. The encounter resulted to the recovery of an M16 rifle, a shotgun, backpacks (with subversive documents) and a laptop triggering speculations that a top NPA leader was one of those killed. Bodies of two (2) unidentified rebels were recovered. Scores of wounded NPAs were also reported.

Lieutenant General Alexander Yano, Southern Luzon Command Chief immediately dispatched 2 helicopters to provide air support to the operations and evacuate casualties if any. "I congratulate the 74IB troopers for this tactical victory. You have a campaign and it is working", Lt Gen Yano said as he prods the troops to continue the campaign.

It can be recalled that just last week, 10 members of the Sangay ng Partido sa Lokalidad (SPL) in Brgy San Juan also of San Narciso surrendered to the 74IB. This was followed by another group of 14 SPL members. More and more former NPA allies and supporters were turning their backs from the NPAs. "Its just a matter of time before the NPA will find themselves alone in this fight. It's not too late for them, we will still welcome those who want to join the bandwagon of people who have decided to work with and help government bring development in their areas at a much faster rate", Lt Gen Yano said. (PIA-MMIO) [top]

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