• GILBERT P. BAYORAN
Following the recovery of 15 firearms from New People’s Army rebels in northern Samar, the Armed Forces of the Philippines Visayas Command reported that the communist terrorist group in the region suffered another series of setbacks against the government troops.
In a statement, the Visayas Command referred to separate encounters in Negros and Bohol on May 11 and 12, respectively, that resulted in the neutralization of two more rebel combatants who died in gunbattles, and recovery of two M16 and M4 carbine rifles, a 45 .caliber pistol, and other war materials.
Several NPA rebels were also believed to have been wounded during the firefight in Brgy. Hilamonan, Kabankalan City, Negros Occidental, as manifested on the bloodstains seen in the engagement area, according to a report of the 94th Infantry Battalion.
Lt. Gen. Benedict Arevalo, VISCOM commander, said that the continuous fall of the CPP–NPA implies that the terrorist group continues to weaken.
Last week, Army soldiers recovered 15 firearms following an encounter with NPA rebels in Samar.
Arevalo said that the whole-of-nation approach has indeed gained ground in the Visayas region.
As such, we will sustain our gains to further push the terrorist group to a point of irreversible collapse, he stressed.
Two top leaders of the Komiteng Rehiyonal Negros/Cebu/Bohol/Siquijor, including its secretary, Rogelio Posadas, and regional commander identified by the military as Romeo Nanta, alias Juanito Magbanua, died in separate encounters with 94th Infantry Battalion in Binalbagan and Himamaylan City, Negros Occidental.
For the nth time, Arevalo called on rebel remnants in the Visayas to surrender.
“We are resolute in our ceaseless campaign to end the local communist armed conflict which has disrupted the lives and progress of our people in the Visayas,” he stressed.*