Government forces engaged in a 25-minute firefight with members of the New People’s Army (NPA) in Barangay Tawas, in Bongabong on Monday, May 8.
Recovered items from the communist rebels ncluded two M16 rifles, one M203 Grenade Launcher, two improvised explosive devices, two short and three long magazines for M16 rifles, 125 rounds of 5.56mm cartridges, one M203 ammunition, one bandolier, three cellular phones, personal belongings, and subversive documents.
Troops from the 76th Infantry Battalion and Philippine National Police (PNP) Oriental Mindoro were acting on a tip when they raided the rebel hideout and engaged the rebels, led by Mean Dela Cruz alias “Ida”, in a gunbattle.
No casualties were reported among the troops, while the casualties on the rebel’s side are still being determined after blood stains were found at the encounter site.
Brig. Gen. Randolph G. Cabangbang, the new leader of the 203rd Infantry Brigade, called on the remaining members of the CPP-NPA to surrender and live peacefully with their loved ones.
“Nananawagan ako sa mga natitira pang miyembro ng teroristang CPP-NPA na isuko na ang inyong mga armas at mamuhay ng payapa upang makasama ang inyong mga mahal sa buhay,” Cabangbang said.
“Mayroong Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program o E-CLIP ang gobyerno na naghihintay para sa inyo at maging bahagi sana kayo ng solusyon sa mga problema na kinakaharap ng ating bansa,” he added.
“Nais ko ring tiyakin sa publiko na patuloy kaming magiging aktibong kasapi ng mga lokal na pamahalaan at mamamayan sa pagtupad ng mga hangarin ng aming Provincial Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict o PTF-ELCAC,” Cabangbang said.