Tip-off from locals leads Army to rebels’ hideout in Iloilo

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HIDEOUT. The Philippine Army’s 61st Infantry Battalion (61IB) located the hideout of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) in Miagao town, Iloilo on Monday (June 29, 2020). The government troops encountered around 30 members of the CPP-NPA which led to the death of one rebel. (Photo from Google map)

ILOILO CITY — The Philippine Army’s 3rd Infantry Division (3ID) attributed the success of locating a hideout of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) at Sitio Lay, Dalije village in Miagao, Iloilo on Monday to the locals who continue to provide valuable information.

Capt. Cenon Pancito III, 3ID’s spokesperson, told the Philippine News Agency (PNA) that a firefight has transpired between the troops of the 3ID’s 61st Infantry Battalion (61IB) and more or less 30 members of the rebels under the Suyak (SDG) Platoon, Southern Front, Komiteng Rehiyon-Panay led by Joven Ceralvo.

“We are grateful for the help of the locals because they are really the ones who provide us with valuable information, especially the location of these New People’s Army,” Pancito said in an interview on Tuesday.

The firefight resulted in the killing of an unidentified rebel and the recovery of one M-16 rifle. Pancito said they are yet to verify the identity of the casualty and his position in the rebel group.

No casualty was recorded on the government side, he said.

“We are yet to ask our former rebels and we will wait if there will be someone who will claim the body for us to identify,” he said.

The body is now in the custody of the local government unit (LGU) of Miagao.

Before the armed engagement, the Army has also received information from the locals that the rebels are conducting recruitment activities among minors in Miagao and the nearby San Joaquin town.

The discovered hideout was to be used as a staging area for their terroristic attacks against government forces and innocent civilians through the conduct of ambuscades.

Pancito said the encounter has verified the statement of the 3ID that there are two main forces of the CPP-NPA operating in Panay — the Southern Front and the Central Front.

He also said the government troops are always ready in case the rebels will retaliate for the death of their comrade.

The commanding officer of the 61IB, Lt. Col. Joel Benedict Batara has called on the locals to continue to provide necessary information to the government for the fight against insurgency.

“We call on the residents to be more vigilant and report immediately the presence of NPA terrorists in their barangays to prevent recruitment and extortion activities from this evil terrorist group,” he said in a statement.

The CPP-NPA is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines. (PNA)

Photo Credit: Philippine News Agency

The Philippine News Agency is a web-based newswire service of the Philippine government under the supervision of the News and Information Bureau (NIB) of the Presidential Communications Office (PCO).

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