Saturday, April 14, 2012

NPA Communists in Capiz, Philippines

The Philippine Army's 3rd Infantry Division on Saturday announced that its units discovered and took possession of two abandoned New People's Army (NPA) camps at the vicinity of Nayawan and Lahug, both of Tapaz, Capiz Friday.

Major Enrico Gil Ileto, 3rd Infantry Division spokesperson, said that the encampments belonged to the NPA's "Komiteng Rehiyon Panay".

Ileto said the discovery of the camps followed a clash between government and communist forces in the area early in the week.

He said that the first camp, which was captured at about 1:35 p.m. Friday, could accommodate about 30 persons, with improvised beddings and a firearms rack.

While the second one, which was discovered 3:24 pm, has fifty huts made of laminated sacks with improvised beddings and two kitchens and has an estimated area of one hectare and is believed to be a regional camp.

One empty magazine for M14 rifle, personal belongings and documents, all hastily left behind, were found in the area.

Troops under the 61st Infantry Battalion figured in a firefight with the NPA about 7:25 a.m. Wednesday at Barangay Nayawan, Tapaz, Capiz who, together with the National Commission on Indigenous People and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, were supposed to undergo "Pulong pulong" (dialogue)with the populace for an information drive on the government's various programs, particularly on the rights of indigenous people.

"We believe that Wednesday's encounter made the NPA decide to abandon the camp. This is definitely another big blow in their leadership and organization. Your Army here in the Visayas will make sure that armed groups will be unable to use force to threaten our citizens," 3rd Infantry Division chief Major Gen. Jose Mabanta Jr., said.

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