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Gov't troops seize NPA lair in Samar

July 30, 2020

BRGY. FATIMA, Hinabangan, Samar A Communist NPA Terrorist (CNT) lair was seized by soldiers in a four-hour long intermittent firefight in Sitio Salvacion, Brgy San Nicolas, San Jose de Buan in Samar province 1:30PM Wednesday, July 29, 2020.

Operating troops engaged about 50 NPA terrorists who put up stiff resistance before withdrawing away. Troops discovered the lair after several residents complained about the presence of armed NPA terrorists who are extorting money and foodstuff as part of their Rebolusyonaryong Buwis sa Kaaway na Uri (RBKU).

The NPA terrorist lair can accommodate 50 to 100 individuals based on the structures found composed of 34 huts and a kitchen that can be used for huge food preparations.

Soldiers recovered five M-16 assault rifles, hundreds of assorted ammunition, a generator set, electronic gadgets, food, medicines, medical paraphernalia and subversive documents.

No soldier was wounded in the skirmish but authorities believe the NPA terrorists could have suffered numerous wounded.

Residents who refused to be identified said they can no longer bear the abuses of the NPA. "We do not have enough to eat ourselves and yet they extort RBKU from us, one resident said in the vernacular. People lament that RBKU is the extortion scheme of the CNT against their enemies yet they impose that against the masses.

The series of surrenders and successful encounters in San Jose de Buan is believed to be the result of the support of the local chief executive who few weeks ago admitted his participation in supporting the CPP-NPA-NDF as part of political survival.

Mayor Joaquin Elizalde, Municipal Mayor of San Jose de Buan, withdrew his support from the CPP-NPA-NDF a few weeks ago and publicly encouraged NPA members to surrender and embrace peace. Several NPA fighters and Militia ng Bayan members heed the call and several armed skirmishes ensued since the public declaration of the mayor.

Brigadier General Camilo Ligayo, the 801st Brigade Commander said, "While the NPA continue to harrass and abuse people, our soldiers will be more active in serving the masses. We thank the people and local officials of San Jose De Buan for renewing their support to our legitimate government and denying sanctuary to the NPA.

Lieutenant Colonel Reynaldo B Balido Jr., the Battalion Commander of 87th Infantry Battalion encouraged NPA members who might be wounded to surrender so as to be treated appropriately. "The wounded must be treated. We call on the leadership of the NPA to let the wounded be treated adequately. Their lives is more important at this time than their passe ideology. There are many cases that their wounded end up dead and they just burry them in shallow graves or worse, they just leave them behind, Lt. Col. Balido said.

In a similar encounter few days ago in Borongan, Eastern Samar, troops of 78th Infantry Battalion engaged NPA terrorists in a firefight after residents tipped them off on the presence of armed men extorting from households.

Few months ago in April and May during the height of community quarantine in Samar Island, series of incidents were recorded involving NPA terrorists extorting money and foodstuff from the people and some resulted to armed skirmishes after residents informed soldiers.