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PIA Press Release

Soldier wounded in encounter as Army brandishes past year's accomplishments

By Ninfa B Quirante

Catbalogan City (January 15) -- One soldier from the 14th Infantry Battalion (IB) was wounded in an encounter at Sitio Tugop, Barangay Rizal, Oras, E. Samar. The soldier was identified as Pfc Ramon Entico (hit in his right leg).

The spot report forwarded to PIA Samar by Col Armand Rico stated that the troops led by Lt Antonio Dayag while on community work in the mentioned place was fired upon by some ten armed men believed to be members of the New People's Army, Southeast Command, Eastern Samar Party Committee, Eastern Visayas Regional party Command.

Government soldiers believe that they have killed at least one rebel and wounded two.

The 14th IB team recovered M 16 rifle, one rifle grenade, two backpack with voluminous subversive documents, one bandolier w 3 mag ammo, med kit I detonating cord with blasting cap.

Major General Arthur Tabaquero instructed Lt Col Jaime Hidalgo, commanding Officer of the battalion to continue pursuit operations and intensify security operations in the area.

In related development, the 8th Infantry Division through Col. Armand Rico, the Information Officer said that the army in the past year acquired significant lead over the rebels due to the different activities conducted.

Rico reported that the government has conducted some 6,371 security operations where they had 70 encounters and in the process killed 12 enemies. They were also able to capture/apprehend some 26 suspected rebels.

As they rounded off nooks and crannies of the rebels ‘ lair, some 159 surrendered and 145 firearms recovered.

The army, the report said, as a staunch supporter of the peace process has enticed 208 Rebel Returnees where 109 of them have applied for cash rewards and other livelihood benefits to the Social integration Program.

Just this year, some Kalayaan sa Barangay Program (KBP) Projects were also completed in barangays that the army believes are NPA influenced.

The army engineers also constructed some nine farm to market roads, 55 school buildings, ten barangay water system, 44 health centers and has provided eight barangays in Samar with electricity.

As the army also supports DENR in ‘bantay gubat' with some 11,964 board feet of logs confiscated; government soldiers have also continuously planted trees. As to their socio-civic activities, the army has also extended medical/dental services to some 12,250 patients all over their area of responsibility. (PIA-Samar) [top]

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