SOLDIERS CAPTURE NPA FIGHTER IN SOUTHERN NEGROS CLASH
CAPTURED. New People’s Army fighter Arnel ‘July’ Sairot, 21, a resident of Escalante City in northern Negros, was captured by soldiers who encountered his group at Sitio Bunga, Barangay Salong in Kabankalan City, Negros Occidental late Tuesday afternoon (March 12, 2019). (Photo courtesy of 303rd Infantry Brigade, Philippine Army)
BACOLOD CITY — A New People’s Army (NPA) fighter was captured by troopers of the Philippine Army’s 15th Infantry Battalion following an encounter at Sitio Bunga, Barangay Salong in Kabankalan City, Negros Occidental late Tuesday afternoon.
A report from the 303rd Infantry Brigade (303IB) on Wednesday identified the rebel as 21-year-old Arnel “July” Sairot, a resident of Escalante City in northern Negros.
Col. Benedict Arevalo, commander of 303IB, said the troops conducted combat operations around 5 p.m. following reports of the NPA’s extortion activities and encountered about nine fully-armed rebels, whom they engaged in a five-minute firefight.
After the rebels retreated, the soldiers conducted pursuit operations and cleared the area. Sairot was captured in the process.
The troops recovered a 9mm pistol, an improvised shotgun, a hand grenade, a radio handset, two mobile phones, two hammocks, and materials for fabrication of improvised firearms.
They also found copies of NPA extortion letters for construction companies, an NPA training certificate of completion, and subversive documents.
Arevalo said the documents and firearms seized by the troops show that the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front is indeed an extortionist terrorist organization.
“The regular NPA rebels do the difficult and dirty work in the countryside while their leaders and political officers are enjoying the fruits of their extortion activities, living luxuriously and comfortably in the cities,” the Army official said.
Arevalo reiterated his call on the communist rebels to surrender to be able to lead normal lives again.
Both the United States government and the European Union have declared the CPP-NPA as a terrorist group. (PNA)