SORSOGON CITY, May 1 (PIA) – Two members of the New People’s Army (NPA) were captured following an encounter on May 1, 2013, 5:20pm at Brgy. Siuton, Magallanes, Sorsogon.
Colonel Teody T. Toribio, Commanding Officer of the 31st Infantry Battalion, said that his soldiers under Captain Christopher Santander encountered 10 NPAs while on combat patrol in the forested area of the same place.
“The 10-min firefight did not bring any harm to our soldiers while we recovered three M16 rifles, a landmine, and subversive documents,” said Col. Toribio.
Col. Toribio disclosed that they received reports from concerned citizens and from “peace-loving” NPAs that a “hard core” NPA group will be conducting extortion to some political candidates in Magallanes prompting them to conduct combat operation.
Captain Santander, meanwhile, narrated that during the firefight, they have heard voices shouting for surrender, and that he immediately ordered his men for ceasefire. “They were laying face down on the ground with their firearms by their side when they were captured”, described Santander.
The two captured rebels were identified as Judy Torres a.k.a. Ka Rolly, 33 years old, a resident of Brgy Dolos, Bulan, Sorsogon; and Jomar Gracilla, 19 years old, resident of Brgy Pili, Magallanes, Sorsogon. The two belong to the NPA's Front Committee 80 in Sorsogon. “Both of them were not hurt and were treated well at the headquarters of the 31IB in Brgy Rangas in Juban, Sorsogon,” said Santander.
Colonel Joselito Kakilala, Commander of 903rd Brigade, lauded the quick response of the soldiers to the reports of the civilians. He also praised the soldiers involved in the operation for their professional conduct in the observance of the Rules of Engagement and Human Rights.
The encounter was the second to happen within the span of three days in Bicol. On April 29, 2013, soldiers of the 83IB in Catanduanes have also encountered 10 NPA rebels in San Andres town that yielded an M16 rifle and leaving one soldier, Pfc Christopher Briquela, wounded. (MPPPanesa, PA/BARecebido, PIA Sorsogon)