NPA member killed in Kalinga encounter




The Manila Times


CAMP MELCHOR F. DELA CRUZ, Upi, Gamu, Isabela: A member of the New People’s Army (NPA) was killed in an armed engagement with the government troops at Sitio Lagan, Barangay Gawa-an in Balbalan town, Kalinga on Wednesday, March 15. The said NPA member whose identity was temporarily withheld by authorities has operated under the terrorist group’s Regional Sentro De Gravidad (RSDG) of the Ilocos Cordillera Regional Committee (ICRC), according to the Army’s 5th Infantry Division (5ID) here. Major Rigor Pamittan, Public Affairs Office chief, said the 5ID’s 98th Infantry Battalion (98IB) troops under the 503rd Infantry Brigade were conducting pursuit operations when they encountered three fleeing members of the RSDG-ICRC which ensued in a five-minute firefight resulting in the death of one of the communist NPA members. Pamittan said it is unfortunate that the NPA fatality is a member of the Indigenous Peoples of Kalinga who was deceived and recruited to join the NPA ranks. “This is the reason why our peace-loving Kalingas call for the presence of government forces in the area to thwart the agitation and propaganda of the communist terrorist group (CTG),” he said. The 98IB troops also recovered an M16 Armalite rifle, an M653 carbine, a 5.56 magazine, an improvised explosive device, two bandoliers, a commercial radio, and cellular phones. Meanwhile, the Kalinga Provincial Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (PTF-Elcac) warned the remaining members of the CTG to return to the folds of the law or meet death because of their senseless ideologies. The Kalinga PTF-Elcac said it is ready to assist the returning CTG members who will abandon the terrorist group and live a peaceful life with their loved ones.