Army quells NPA plan to attack Cotabato town

KIDAPAWAN CITY (MindaNews / 21 June) – The Army in North Cotabato has quelled an alleged plan of the New People’s Army (NPA) to attack one of its detachments located at a remote village in Tulunan, North Cotabato.

Lt. Col. Rhojun Rosales, commander of the 39th Infantry Battalion, said his men, while scouring Sitio Alimodian, Barangay Banayal, encountered some 30 fully armed communist guerillas Wednesday.

Rosales said the rebels were led by a certain Dave Verano alias Commander Borjack and Eusebio Carranzo alias Commander Brix, both from the NPA Southern Mindanao Regional Command Guerilla Front 72.

Rosales, citing sources from the intelligence community, said the guerillas were tasked to overrun a military detachment located just outside Sitio Alimodin, one of the five areas in Tulunan considered as “peace zones”.

“They went inside the peace zone a few days ago and took several photos with the residents to show that the rebels are still strong in their barangay,” said Rosales.

The colonel said the NPA commanders officiated two wedding ceremonies inside Sitio Alimodin. The couples were sympathizers of the NPA, he explained.

The 33rd Infantry Battalion used 105mm howitzers and air assault to drive the rebels away from the site, he said.

The exchange of fires and the mortar attack last Wednesday sent school children of the New Alimodian Elementary School into panic.

None, however, was hurt during the firefight, reports said. (Malu Cadelina Manar / MindaNews)