Intensified security operations of units under Eastern Mindanao Command resulted in four encounters against New People’s Army rebels and the capture of an NPA vice commander last Feb. 12.
Major Ezra Balagtey, Eastern Mindanao Command spokesman, in a statement yesterday, said troops from 2nd Scout Ranger Battalion and Lianga Police Station apprehended two NPAs in a checkpoint operations at Samilia Detachment, Barangay Diatagon, Lianga, Surigao del Sur.
The duo, identified as Robert Laurente Rivas Jr., alias “Opos,” a rebel vice commander operating in the area and Jojean Alameda, were on their way to lay landmines when intercepted by government troops.
Recovered from their possession were an anti-personnel improvised explosive device (IED); a .38 caliber revolver; a blasting cap; 27 meters firing wire for IED; a cellphone (My Phone) with simpack; two battery packs for cellphone; and cash money amounting to P520.
In another incident, a 10-minute skirmish took place between Special Forces troopers and NPA fighters in Barangay Capitan Angel, Malaybalay City, Bukidnon, also 9 a.m. Thursday.
Still in Bukidnon, another firefight took place at 2 p.m. when troops from 8th Infantry Battalion were fired upon by NPA bandits while responding to the information about armed men coercing Barangay folks in Barangay Pagan in the town of Kitaotao.
In Dominga, Calinan District, Davao City, troops from 69 Infantry Battalion securing the road construction in the Bukidnon-Davao Highway, figured in a 10-minute encounter against NPA bandits at around 3 p.m.
In Sarangani Province, troops from 73rd Infantry Battalion were fired upon by NPA rebels at Sitio Tinungkaan, Barangay Tamban, Malungon town while conducting security operations in the area.
No casualties were reported among the government troops and from the NPAs during these skirmishes.