BUTUAN CITY, Apr. 17 (PIA) - Troops under the 26th Infantry Battalion of 401st Infantry Brigade have recovered one CCZ 550 sniper rifle and two dead New Peoples Army (NPA) were left by their fleeing comrades after a major encounter ensued in the outskirts of Barangay Mahagsay, San Luis town of Agusan del Sur at 3:30 p.m. on April 13, 2017.
Troops responded to a report from the concerned civilians that a group of fully armed NPA bandits are harassing their community. It said that the NPAs are forcibly taking foodstuffs and money from the residents of the said community.
After a 30-minute fierce firefight, the NPAs scampered out of the encounter area leaving their dead comrades, one sniper rifle, 50 rounds of M60 ammunition, war materiel, 34 sacks of rice, 10 backpacks which contain personal belongings, and subversive documents.
Col. Cristobal Zaragoza, 401st Infantry Brigade Commander ordered the 26th Infantry Battalion to conduct pursuit operation to hunt down the bandits.
Major General Benjamin Madrigal Jr., 4th Infantry Division commander lauded the swift execution of the said operation and congratulated the troops for successfully hitting the NPA bandits who are responsible for many atrocities in Agusan del Sur.
"Time and again, we have proven that no evil will triumph. While most of the Filipinos are solemnly reflecting during this lenten season, the NPAs are busy doing their extortion and other evil activities. Fortunately, our relentless guardians of peace have displayed a distinct act of courage when they foiled the extortion and recruitment scheme of the said NPA group in the peaceful lumad community of Brgy. Mahagsay,” underlined MGen Madrigal.
The 26IB is now coordinating with the concerned local officials for the identification of the two dead NPAs and for their burial. (4ID, Phil. Army/PIA-Caraga)