Military troops have captured two female New People’s Army (NPA) rebels following an encounter in Sitio New Laslasakan, Barangay Palma Gil Talaingod, Davao del Norte, the Army’s 10th Infantry Division (ID) here said Thursday.
In an interview, Capt. Mark Tito, the 10ID spokesperson, said combined troops of the 1003rd Brigade clashed with the group led by alias Macky on Wednesday afternoon resulting in the capture of Masarinda Balite alias Alina, the medical and supply officer of the NPA Sub-Regional Guerilla Unit, Sub-Regional Committee 5, and her companion Odessa Dumol alias Ann.
He said Alina was found wounded and immediately provided first aid by the troops after the clash.
“The firefight lasted for 20 minutes,” Tito told the Philippine News Agency (PNA), adding that Alina was in stable condition.
He said the rebels also left behind three M16 assault rifles and an M4 rifle along their escape route as they fled in various directions.
Col. Consolito Yecla, the Army’s 1003rd Brigade commander, said the skirmish erupted when the group of alias Macky refused to surrender despite efforts from Ka Eloy, a surrenderer, who called on the remaining Indigenous People (IP) to accept the peace program offered by the government.
“We treat wounded enemies with compassion in keeping with International Humanitarian Laws. She will be turned over properly to the nearest hospital for proper medication,” Yecla added.
He once again urged the remaining active NPA members to return to the folds of the law and voluntarily surrender before becoming casualties on the ongoing focused military operations.
Meanwhile, Maj. Gen. Ernesto C Torres Jr., the 10ID commander, lauded the efforts of the 56th, 27th, and 3rd Infantry Battalions for the successful conduct of joint operation which resulted in the capture of the two NPA members.
“To the remaining deceived individuals still wandering in the hinterlands of Talaingod, Davao Del Norte, and other areas in 10ID, your Philippine Army will be your guide out of that limbo. Now is the right time to go back, join the efforts of the government, help find a solution, and together we will win this peace as a nation. Let us unite against a common enemy, the CPP (Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP)-NPA-National Democratic Front (NDF),” Torres said.
The Communist Party of the Philippines-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, meanwhile, has been formally designated as a terrorist organization by the Anti-Terrorism Council on June 23, 2021, citing it as “an integral and separate part” of the CPP-NPA created in April 1973. (PNA)