MANILA — Government troopers killed five New People’s Army (NPA) bandits during an encounter in Sitio Tugal, Barangay Datal Anggas, Alabel town, Sarangani at 8 a.m. Monday.
1st Lt. Vergel Lacambra, 10th Infantry Division spokesperson, said troopers from 73rd Infantry Battalion also recovered six high powered firearms at the clash site.
These consists of two AK-47 automatic rifles, one M-653 “Baby Armalite” rifle and three M-16 rifles.
No one was hurt among the government troops.
Lacambra said that troopers from the 73rd Infantry Batallion were conducting routine security patrols when they encountered about 30 NPA bandits, led by one named only as “Lucas,” allegedly the Secretary of Front 75 of the NPA Far South Mindanao Regional Committee.
Two MG-520 attack helicopters from the Philippine Air Force provided close air support to the engaged ground troops.
10th Infantry Agila Division commander Major Gen. Eduardo M. Año lauded the troops in the successful law enforcement operation that targeted lawless armed elements of the NPA.
Año also reiterated the message for the NPA rebels to lay down their firearms and abandon the senseless armed struggle being waged by the rebels.
“We regret that our fellow Filipino brothers have to die for this unworthy purpose of the NPA, the only viable option for them is to embrace a peaceful life and avail of the government’s local integration program,” he said.