2 NPA rebels fall to Army in Talaingod town

A supply officer of the New People’s Army (NPA) and her companion were captured by the operating units of the 1003rd Infantry Brigade (1003BDE) following a clash in Sitio New Laslasakan, Barangay Palma Gil, Talaingod, Davao del Norte at 5:58 p.m. Wednesday, December 1.

In a statement, the 10th Infantry Division (10ID) identified the captured NPA members as Masarinda Balite and Odessa Dumol.

The Army troopers also recovered three M-16 assault rifles, one M-4 rifle, medical kits, and other personal belongings of the captured rebels at the encounter site.

The 4ID also confirmed that Balite is the medical and supply officer of Sub-Regional Guerilla Unit (SRGU), Sub-Regional Committee 5 (SRC5), Southern Mindanao Regional Committee (SMRC) of the NPA.

She was found wounded at the encounter site and was immediately provided first aid by troops.

Balite was among the 10 NPA rebels who figured in running a 20-minute gunfight on Wednesday afternoon against the operating units of 1003BDE composed of 56th 27th, and 3rd Infantry Battalions.

Colonel Consolito Yecla, the commander of the 1003BDE said that the encounter on Wednesday ensued after Lutenant Apoga alias Macky, the commander of SRGU, SRC5, SMRC refused to surrender despite the efforts of Ka Eloy, a former rebel, who is encouraging the remaining insurgents in the area to accept the peace program of the government.

“We treat wounded enemies with compassion in keeping with International Humanitarian Laws. She (Balite) will be turned over properly to the nearest hospital for proper medication,” Colonel Yecla said.

He again urged the remaining active NPA rebels in the area to return to the folds of the law and voluntarily surrender before becoming casualties on the ongoing focused military operations.

Meanwhile, 10ID commander, Maj. Gen. Ernesto C. Torres Jr. applauded the operating troops for the successful conduct of the joint operation which resulted in the capture of two NPA guerrillas.

“To the remaining deceived individuals who are still wandering in the hinterlands of Talaingod, Davao Del Norte, and in other areas under the 10ID, your Philippine Army will be your guide out of that limbo. Now is the right time to go back, join the efforts of the government, help find a solution, and together we will win this peace as a nation. Let us unite against a common enemy, the Communist Party of the Philippines, the NPA, and the National Democratic Front,” Torres said. (NW)