6 NPAs killed, 16 firearms seized as AFP hunts down Eastern Samar village attackers

6 NPAs killed, 16 firearms seized as AFP hunts down Eastern Samar village attackers

By Arwen Pascua

CAMP LUKBAN, CATBALOGAN CITY, SAMAR — The Armed Forces of the Philippines’s Joint Task Force Storm made up of the army, air force and navy in Eastern Visayas are hot on the trail hunting down Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) members allegedly belonging to the Eastern Visayas Regional Party Committee (EVRPC) and its bandits in the hinterlands of Brgy Imelda, Las Navas, Northern Samar on November 23, 2022.

The hunt came on the heels of an attack on a local village here that left a total of six (6) NPAs dead.

At least 16 assorted firearms were seized from the encounter site following the early-morning firefight Wednesday.

AFP’s Joint Task Force Storm spokesperson Captain Ryan Layug said that a group of army troopers is hunting down the perpetrator of the Dorillo village attack in the adjacent town of Jipapad, Eastern Samar.

The attack also wounded a 10-year-old civilian, and two soldiers and killed two other troopers who were tasked to monitor the implementation of government projects in the area.

The attack also left hundreds of bullets that pierced at least 15 houses, a barangay stage, a communal toilet, and the newly constructed barangay hall in the said village.

JTF Storm and 8th Infantry Division Commander Major General Camilo Ligayo said that the AFP cannot let these communists continue to terrorize villages.

Accordingly, technology helped them track enemy movement.

“Hindi naman pwedeng hayaan natin silang labas pasok sa mga kumunidad, nagrereklamo na ang mga tao sa pangongotong at pananakot ng mga ito. We are the protector of our people, locals appeal na kung pwede nga lang wag na kami umalis sa mga komunidad nila at ayaw nila sa presensya ng mga NPA. Sila na rin mismo ang nagtuturo sa amin ng mga hideout ng mga teroristang ito,” General Ligayo said.

According to former rebels that surrendered to the AFP, the terrorist hideouts are surrounded by prohibited anti-personnel mines (APMs) to annihilate soldiers who will attempt to attack them.

It is a standard operating procedure (SOP) of the terrorist CPP-NPA the army said.

The terrorist position was heavily fortified as strong resistance met government troops en route to the hideouts. These triggered the request for close air support and artillery fires.

“We have been calling them to go home to their families, but these group stand by their twisted ideology that killed tens of thousand of Filipinos for their almost 54 years of existence. Paubos na sila sa buong bansa at malapit naring magwakas ang ang terorismo nila dito sa Samar,” General Ligayo added.

According to NTF-ELCAC, there are five remaining active CPP-NPA guerilla fronts in the country. Four of them are in Region 8, particularly in Northern Samar Province going to its boundaries with the provinces of Samar and Eastern Samar.

Meanwhile, around 200 barangays in the region are set to benefit this year’s NTF-ELCAC’s Support to Barangay Development Program (SBDP) providing P4M to conflict-affected barangays that can be used to build water systems, school buildings, roads, health centers on choice of the Barangay Council. (ai/mtvn)

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