CAMP GEN. CAPINPIN, Tanay, Rizal – Government military troops has been reported clashed with a band of New People’s Army (NPA) rebels on Tuesday afternoon in the boundary between of Barangays Villa Nacaob and Binahian C., in Lopez, Quezon.
Troops from the 21st Division Reconnaissance Company (DRC) came face to face with the rebels around 3:30 p.m., after soldiers responded to civilians’ tip about the presence of NPAs extorting rice and money from residents, per reports said.
Lt. Col. Arnold Gasalatan, commanding officer of the 85IB said no one was hurt from the government side.
He noted that thet bloodstains in the rebels' position strongly indicate there have been casualties on their side.
Gasalatan said the terrorists, who belong to the Platoon Sol of the Sub-Regional Military Area (SRMA) 4B, probably carried away their wounded comrades as they fled from the clash-zone.
He said the troops were conducting their Focus Military Operation (FMO) in the area when tipped by civilians about the rebel-terrorists’ extortion activities, prompting soldiers to mobilize for defense which led to the brief but intense gunfight.
Recently now, the troops have been conducting operations in pursuit of the fleeing rebels and have set up checkpoints with the help of local police, in a bid to eradicate any anticipated rebellion.
Meantime, Col. Norwyn Romeo Tolentino, commander of the 201st Infantry Brigade who has operational jurisdiction over Quezon province, commended the troops for their speedy response on the clash.
“We will be relentless on our combat operations to protect the people against all NPA threats, coercion, extortions and killing of innocent civilians,” Tolentino warned.