GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / 27 February) – Government troops discovered an alleged abandoned camp of the New People’s Army (NPA) in an operation on Tuesday in a hinterland village in Malapatan town, Sarangani province.
Lt. Col. Ronaldo Valdez, commanding officer of the Army’s 73rd Infantry Battalion (IB), said in a statement released on Wednesday night the rebel encampment was found around 10:30 a.m. at a portion of Abunda Range, Barangay Kinam in Malapatan.
He said troops from two sections of the 104th division reconnaissance company led by 2Lt. Alex Fernandez and 2Lt. Allah Jabile located the NPA camp during a combat patrol in the area.
The army official said the camp was located in a densely vegetated area and could accommodate at least 30 rebels.
“It could have been abandoned by the rebels a week ago,” Valdez said.
The NPA camp was the third located by the 73IB in Sarangani province in line with its enhanced internal security operations since the second week of January.
Valdez said these operations already resulted in the surrender of at least 26 combatants of the NPA’s Guerilla Front 71 (Tala)-Far South Mindanao Region.
Two of them, identified as Bening Tamba alias “Ban” and Jo Dala alias “Carlo,” surrendered last week in Malapatan town.
He assured that their focused military operations in parts of Davao Occidental and Sarangani will continue against the “weakened” NPA units in these areas.
“With the continuous support from local communities, we will sustain our pursuit against these rebels and prevent them from conducting hostile and terrorist activities,” he added. (MindaNews)