MANILA — The claim of Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founder Jose Maria “Joma” Sison that no real encounter took place in Nasugbu, Batangas that left 14 New People’s Army (NPA) rebels dead and another wounded and captured is just a propaganda.
This, according to Army’s 202nd Infantry Brigade commander, Brig. Gen. Arnulfo Burgos, in an interview Thursday.
“Joma Sison’s statement is a mere NPA propaganda against the government forces which are pure and simple lies with the sole intention of salvaging their eroding mass base support and projecting relevance in the region,” he added.
Burgos said what the CPP founder cannot contradict is that troops applied first-aid and evacuated the wounded rebels to the nearest hospital for appropriate medical treatment which is more than enough proof that the military highly values the rights and lives of the people.
“This blatant attempt to weaken our resolve through misinformation and harassment only shows that we are hitting, hurting and disrupting their terroristic plans which inspire us to remain steadfast in pursuing our mandate of protecting the people of Region 4 and securing this part of our land,” the military official added.
In a series of encounters in Barangays Aga and Kaylaway that started 8:20 p.m. Tuesday, an initial 13 rebels were killed and three security troops were wounded in the gun battles that lasted for 20 to 40 minutes.
Also wounded were two NPA rebels whom troops provided with first aid and brought to the nearest hospital.
One of the wounded rebels later died, bringing the death toll of the NPAs to 14.
The encounter was “intelligence driven” and stemmed from the November 20 operation in Barangay Utod that earlier resulted in the capture of a NPA base and undetermined rebel casualties.
The seized NPA encampment is capable of housing and training a significant number of rebels.
All bodies of the dead NPA were recovered by troops along with 12 high-powered firearms consisting of 10 M-16 automatic rifles, an M-16 automatic rifle fitted with a M-203 grenade launcher and an M-79.
Nine of the slain rebels were male while five were female.