CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Philippines – The New People’s Army (NPA) said a unit of its Western Agusan Norte Agusan Sur subregional command killed an Army officer and two members of the Citizen Armed Force Geographical Unit (Cafgu).
Ka Malem Mabini, spokesperson of the NPA’s North Central Mindanao Region, said several government soldiers were also wounded in the encounter, who were transported in a military truck and helicopter.
Mabini’s statement came as President Duterte signed Proclamation No. 360 cancelling peace talks with communists rebels on Thursday, November 23.
During the recent encounter in Barangay Kamagong, Nasipit, Agusan del Norte, the NPA said they recovered Army backpacks, an ammunition vest, live bullets, and communications devices from the troops.
It also said that the military pounced on the location of the NPA fighters with rocket launchers.
But the Philippine Army’s 4th Infantry Division (4ID) was quick to downplay NPA’s report.
Lt. Col. Emil Cruz, 23rd Infantry Battalion commanding officer, said, “We only have one dead and one wounded [soldier] during the encounter and not the bloated figure given by the NPA.”
Cruz said the local government units, together with the 23rd IB and other agencies in the area, have been implementing the “Community Support Program.” (davaotoday.com)