Miag-ao, Iloilo – Security forces from 82nd Infantry Battalion, 3rd Infantry Division, Philippine Army while conducting pursuit operations, figured in another encounter with lawless armed elements 4:05 p.m. yesterday at Sitio Anoy, Brgy Cabalaunan of this municipality which resulted to the recovery of one (1) M-14 rifle, one (1) hand grenade, two (2) rounds of live ammunition for M203 grenade launcher (40mm) and three (3) backpacks containing subversive documents.
It can be recalled that on October 29, 2013, a day after the conduct of barangay elections, said troops encountered the same group of lawless armed elements in the boundary of Brgy Dalije and Brgy Alimodias, Miag-ao, Iloilo that yielded three (3) improvised explosive devices (IEDs), assorted rounds of live ammunition for M-16 and M-14 rifles, a round of live ammunition for M203 grenade launcher (40mm) and several backpacks containing subversive documents.
With the desire to free the local populace from threat and intimidation of the NPA and to help in bringing peace and development in the countryside, PFC Cris Garbo of 82IB was wounded in yesterday’s encounter. Garbo who was slightly hit on the right portion of his shoulder was immediately evacuated from the encounter area and was brought to the nearest hospital for proper medication. He is now on stable condition.
The troops while pursuing the lawless armed elements saw some of its members were hit and wounded while on the run and believed that several others were also wounded due to bloodstains in the NPA's route of withdrawal.
Brigadier General Arnorld Quiapo, Commander of 301st Infantry (Bayanihan) Brigade in a statement said “Our medical team in the Brigade is on standby in any time that those wounded NPA members would seek for medical assistance. Two (2) helicopters of the Philippine Air Force are also on alert for a possible air evacuation. We call on those rebels to come out, lay down their arms peacefully and be given proper medication. They are being assured of their safety and that their human rights will be respected."
Meanwhile, Brigadier General Aurelio Baladad, Commander of the 3rd Infantry (Spearhead) Division commended the troops for their vigilance in protecting and securing the civilians from the lawless armed elements.
Baladad also said that “We will not falter in our efforts to win the peace here in the region. The only way to stop this conflict is for us to unite and work in harmony.”
“A lot of our people have already suffered brought by the armed struggle and it must be stopped already. A lot of stakeholders are already working with us through Bayanihan and a lot are still coming in to join us in finding peaceful ways to solve our problems and to attain our goal of just and lasting peace,” Baladad added.