5 NPA members killed in Davao military encounters

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Mati City (CNN Philippines, June 18) — Five members of the New People's Army (NPA) were killed in two separate firefights with military troops in Davao provinces Saturday.

The troops of 104th Division Recon Company and one platoon from 67th Infantry Battalion based in Bagangga, Davao Oriental encountered members of New People's Army's GF 25 at Sitio 35 Brgy. Taytayan, Cateel, Davao Oriental around 1:30 a.m.

According to the batallion's report, residents from Brgy. Lambog told troops they were being harassed and extorted by NPA in the area.

Upon approaching the barangay, the military was fired upon by around 10 NPAs of Guerilla Front 25.

The firefight ensued for 45 minutes, killing three NPA members. There were no casualties among government troops.

After the firefight, the military recovered five high-powered firearms: two M-16 rifles, one M-14 rifle, one AK-47 rifle, and one M203 grenade launcher.

Afp-1.jpg Among the items recovered from the firefight were two M-16 rifles, one M-14 rifle, one AK-47 rifle, and one M203 grenade launcher.  

On the other hand, troops of 66th Infantry Battalion based in New Bataan, Compostela Valley Province also encountered an undetermined number of NPA members of Front 27 at Brgy Araibo, Pantukan at noon on the same day.

A Front Secretary of the NPA was killed along with another member, and an .45 caliber pistol was recovered according to an Eastern Mindanao Command report Sunday.

Military troops in the area are visiting the communities to follow up the local government's livelihood projects in partnership with the 701st Infantry Brigade covering the whole of Davao Oriental, including Compostela Valley.

The military withheld the names of the NPA members until their bodies have been claimed by the families.

701st Brigade Commander,  Col.Reuben Basiao said in a statement Sunday that the presence of military troops is "to secure the people as part of our effort in conducting Community Support Program (CSP) and deliver basic services to the people together with other government agencies."

"Your Army here in Davao Oriental will always secure your safety as part of our mandate of protecting the people and securing the land," the statement read.