By MIKE U. CRISMUNDO
BUTUAN CITY – Scores of New People’s Army (NPA) rebels were either killed or wounded in a fierce gunbattle with government troops in Barangay Samay, Gingoog City, Misamis Oriental on Sunday, military reported Monday.
Two government troops also suffered minor injuries and were immediately brought to Camp Edilberto Evangelista Station Hospital in Cagayan de Oro City. They are now in stable condition.
The gunfight broke out around 11 a.m. in Barangay Samay while the troops of the Army’s 58th Infantry Battalion (58th IB) were responding to farmers’ complaint that a group of rebels was threatening them anew, 58th IB Civil Military Operations (CMO) officer 1st Lt. Jefferson M. Mariano said.
The heavy firefight lasted for about 30 minutes.
The soldiers recovered war materials including one M16 Armalite rifle, a short magazine for M16, four magazines for AK47, a Signus radio, one cellular phone with simcard, several rounds of 40mm live ammunition, assorted medical paraphernalia, and subversive documents.
More troops were deployed to augment the pursuing troops in the area.
The encounter took place as the NPA marked its 53 years of armed revolution.
The rebels usually conduct inhumane acts to highlight their celebration, said 58th IB commanding officer Lt. Col. Ricky L. Canatoy.
“However, their plan to create terroristic activities was disrupted when our peace and development team stopped their diabolic terroristic plan in that encounter yesterday,” the 58th IB commander said.
“The encounter is a result of the continuous effort and active steps to thwart enemy hostile activities,” he added.