Thursday, January 24, 2013

31IB clashes with NPA in Sorsogon: 2 NPAs dead, 2 soldiers WIA

Photo: Ryan Jimenez
GUBAT, SORSOGON, Jan 24 (PIA) – Troops of 31st Infantry Battalion under LTC Teody Toribio INF (GSC) PA clash with New Peoples Army (NPAs) at vicinity Centro 2, Barangay Carriedo, Gubat in Sorsogon today at around 09:05 am. The troops led by Sgt Rolando R Cruzado encountered more or less 7 NPAs, armed with short and high powered firearms believed to be SPARU members of Larangan 1 of the Komiteng Probinsya Sorsogon (KOMPROB-Sorsogon).

The firefight lasted for about ten minutes, after which, the enemy withdrew towards Southeast direction leaving behind their two (2) dead comrades, while two were wounded on the government side. The troops recovered from the scene of encounter site one (1) cal .45 with 2 magazines loaded with 20 rounds ammunition. The wounded troops namely Cpl Alfredo  Durana and Pfc Louie Lumbang, who were wounded in the right stomach and right thigh, respectively, were immediately rushed to the Hospital for immediate treatment and now on stable condition.

Photo: Ryan Jimenez
According to LTC Teody Toribio, one of the NPA’s casualties is identified as AKA BILOG, whose true name is Ritchie Espineda. He is the brother-in-law of Elmer Osila @ Gomer, former Secretary of Front Committee (FC) - 79 and later Secretary, FC-75 of Camarines Sur, who was killed in an encounter with government troops in Camarines Sur last CY 2010. AKA Bilog was known to be a ruthless NPA collector in Gubat, Sorsogon. Then later he joined the armed group of Larangan 1 of the Komiteng Probinsya Sorsogon (KOMPROB Sorsogon). The other casualty was identified as William Jarella of Brgy. Bato, Bacon District, Sorsogon City.

LTC Toribio stressed that the residents in Gubat got fed up with the exorbitant extortions of the NPA and they reported the presence of AKA Bilog and the six (6) other NPAs in Barangay Carriedo. This led to the successful conduct of the surgical combat operations by 31IB against AKA Bilog’s group.
Colonel Joselito E Kakilala, Commander, 903rd Brigade underscores that the government forces will conduct relentless combat operations against the NPAs so that they will not have space and time to organize, plan, train and recruit innocent youths to join their ranks. Colonel Kakilala reiterates his call to the NPA rebels to go back to the folds of the law rather than prolonging their hardships in the mountains or meet the tragic deaths similar to AKA Bilog and the other NPA. (Cpt MPPanesa, PA/PIA Sorsogon)

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