8ID troops seize firearms, overrun NPA camp in Samar

CAMP LUKBAN, Catbalogan City – Troops of 87th Infantry (Hinirang) Battalion, 8th Infantry (Stormtroopers) Division, Philippine Army seized high powered firearms and several war materiel in an NPA encampment in the hinterlands of Calbiga, Samar in the afternoon of December 11, 2015 after almost an hour of firefight with 40 NPA rebels.

According to Lt. Colonel George M. Domingo, commanding officer of 87th Infantry Battalion, his troops were able to overrun the NPA encampment through the information given by concerned civilians in the said barangay.

It was reported that barangay residents are already complaining of the extortion and intimidation activities by the NPAs.

The said NPA encampment has 30 makeshift huts, two kitchens, three "bulwagan" (halls) that can accommodate 50 persons.

Recovered from the scene of encounter are the following: one (1) M60 General Purpose Machine Gun with 90 rounds of ammunition; one (1) M653 rifle (Baby Armalite); two (2) pieces Claymore-type landmines; one (1) Flat screen TV (32”); one (1) set Cignal cable transceiver; one (1) generator set; one (1) chainsaw; several medical equipment and medicines, assorted foodstuffs and subversive documents.

According to Domingo, the rebels suffered undetermined number of casualties as evidenced by the bloodstains in their route of withdrawal while two soldiers were wounded during the encounter.  Troops are still in the area tracking down the withdrawing rebels as of press time.

“The successful operation was the fruit of the ongoing partnership between the 87th IB and the Local Government Units of Pinabacdao and Calbiga, Samar headed by their respective local chief executives and the local populace in safeguarding their communities”, Domingo said.

Meanwhile, Maj General Jet B. Velarmino, commander of the 8th Infantry Division extended his gratitude to the civilians who provided the information that led to the successful seizure of the said NPA encampment and the recovery of war materiel. This encounter gave a big blow to the NPA rebels who will be celebrating the CPP anniversary this coming December 26, 2015.

He further added that the landmines recovered from the NPA encampment is in violation of the provisions under the Geneva Convention on the use of landmines in armed conflict.

Velarmino also said that the 8ID, under his leadership, will not stop to attain the illusive peace and development in this part of the region. Velarmino made an appeal again to our rebels, who are being victimized by their leaders, that now is the time to return to the folds of the law and help put a stop to these senseless killings among fellow Filipinos. (DPAO, 8ID PA)

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