BACOLOD CITY – Combined troops of the Philippine Army have recovered weapons during a raid on the Communist Party of Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) hideout in the southern town of Cauayan in Negros Occidental on Thursday afternoon.
During the combat operation in Sitio Hanot, Barangay Inayawan, soldiers from the 15th and 47th Infantry Battalions (IB) engaged some 20 communist rebels led by alias “Kumpol” of the NPA’s South West Front.
As of Saturday, clearing operations were already completed after the troops recovered a .45-caliber pistol with magazine and ammunition, a hand cap grenade, a 50-meter electric wire, two mobile phones, a two-way radio, and various food, medical and personal supplies.
In a statement, Lt. Col. Michael Cuarteros, commanding officer of 15IB, said the rebels abandoned their lair and fled to various directions after a 10-minute gunbattle.
“The Philippine Army is pursuing the CPP-NPA terrorists in Negros with a commitment to eradicate and destroy these groups, who have no other desire but evil in society, and to prevent them from sowing fear and exploiting the people to regain their lost masses,” he said.
Cuarteros acknowledged the support of the locals to the government’s campaign to end the local communist armed conflict by providing information on the presence of the NPA rebels.
“We urge the others to turn themselves in while there is still a chance. For those who refuse, we will track you down until you are incapable of victimizing civilians and destroying innocent lives,” he added.
The CPP-NPA is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines.
The National Democratic Front has been formally designated as a terrorist organization by the Anti-Terrorism Council on June 23, 2021, citing it as “an integral and inseparable part” of the CPP-NPA created in April 1973. (PNA)