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Two suspected NPA rebels captured in Sorsogon

SOLDIERS captured two suspected members of the New People’s Army (NPA) during an encounter with more than 10 rebels on Wednesday in Barangay Siuton, Magallanes, Sorsogon, said Col. Joselito Kakilala, commander of the Army’s 903rd Infantry Battalion (IB).

Kakilala said pursuit operations were ongoing against the escaping rebels who were believed to be carrying their wounded comrades.

The encounter was the second in three days in Bicol, the latest of which was on April 29 when soldiers of the 83rd Infantry Battalion in San Andres town in Catanduanes where Private First Class Christopher Briguela was wounded.

In the Magallanes encounter that happened at around 5:20 p.m. May 1, Kakilala said the two rebels were captured by soldiers of the 31st IB.

In his report, battalion commander Col. Teody Toribio said a platoon led by Capt. Christopher Santander responded to a tip of more than 10 rebels roaming in the area. After several hours of hunting, Santander’s platoon engaged the rebels in a firefight.

“The firefight lasted for 10 minutes that also yielded three M16 rifles, a landmine and subversive documents. No one among the soldiers was hurt,” Santander said, based on his report to his battalion commander.

“We heard voices shouting for surrender. I immediately ordered for a cease-fire, The rebels were lying face down on the ground with their firearms by their side when they were captured,” he said.

Toribio said the two captured rebels were in their custody for further interrogation before they would be committed to the police for the filing of charges.

“Both rebels were not hurt during the encounter and are being treated well here at our headquarters in Barangay Rangas, Juban, Sorsogon,” Toribio said.

He identified the two as Judy Torres alias Ka Rolly, 33, a resident of Barangay Dolos, Bulan, Sorsogon; and Jomar Gracilla, 19, of Barangay Pili, Magallanes, Sorsogon.

“They belong to the NPA’s Front Committee 80 here in Sorsogon,” Toribio said.

Peace talks between the Aquino administration and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines, the negotiating arm of the Communist Party of the Philippines and the NPA, were already unilaterally terminated by Malacañang on Wednesday.

(With Oliver Samson)

 

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