SOLDIERS THWART CHRISTMAS DAY NPA ATTACK IN RIZAL
CAMP CAPINPIN, Tanay, Rizal — A 9-man squad of government troopers conducting patrol operations preempted a possible attack by around 20 members of the New People’s Army (NPA) whom they encountered near the rebels’ lair in the hinterlands of Rodriguez, Rizal on Christmas Day.
The five-minute armed encounter between the rebel group and military troops left an undetermined number of rebel casualties and slightly wounded a CAFGU active auxiliary (CAA) member, Brig. Gen. Arnulfo Marcelo B. Burgos Jr., commander of the Army’s 202nd Infantry Brigade said Wednesday.
“This is a violation of their self-imposed ceasefire and a clear manifestation that their fighters no longer recognize the authority of their so-called leaders,” Burgos said.
Burgos, who has operational jurisdiction over the area, said the troops were conducting their security patrol when civilians informed them of the NPAs presence who were purportedly planning to attack the Macaingalan Patrol Base in Barangay Puray in Rodriguez town.
He described the planned Christmas Day attack proves that the NPAs have indeed transformed into a band of extortionists-terrorists who no longer respect religion just to further their objective of sowing fear among the people.
Also, Lt. Col. Melencio Ragudo, commanding officer of the 80IB said the CAFGU Active Auxiliary member slightly wounded in the leg during the brief firefight is now in stable condition.
According to Ragudo, they suspect a number of casualties on the NPA side due to heavy bloodstains found in the enemies’ positions.
“According to the troops I’ve talked to, the enemies brought along their wounded comrades, when they scampered away,” he said.
The terrorists were believed to be members of the NPA Sub-Regional Party of Sub-Regional Military Area 4C under rebel leader Jonathan Mopon alias “Boyong.”
“Your soldiers were, are and will always be on guard. We are spending the holidays away from our families to make sure that other families will be able to celebrate together in peace,” Ragudo assured.
Meanwhile, Maj. Gen. Rhoderick M. Parayno, commander of the Army’s 2nd Infantry “Jungle Fighter” Division (2ID), lauded the troops’ efforts and vigilance amid the Christmas revelry and festive celebration and in view of the Communist Party of the Philippines’ (CCP) 50th anniversary celebration.
He said the encounter with NPA terrorists is a huge setback to the CPP’s 50th anniversary celebration today (Wednesday) that brought nothing good to the country but killings.
“The Communist Terrorist Group has lost its relevance. Nabubuhay na lang sila sa propaganda. (They only operate on the basis of propaganda). Those who understand their plight, their cause, are surrendering. They’ve not only lost 50 years. They have wasted 50 years!” Parayno said.
Parayno added that he can guarantee the safety of those who want to and will make sure that they receive the benefits being offered to them by the government.
To date, a total of 164 NPAs in Regions 4-A (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon or collectively known as Calabarzon) and 4-B (comprising the 2ID areas of operations in Mindoro Oriental/Occidental, Marinduque and Romblon) have already surrendered to the 2ID forces.
The CPP/NPA has declared its unilateral ceasefire from Dec. 24 to 26, and another by yearend to Jan. 1, 2019, during which period from Christmas Eve until now, the military said the insurgents have already violated their own self-imposed declaration. (PNA)