Gov’t forces overrun NPA training lair in Quezon

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Government troops on Sunday overran a New People’s Army (NPA) training and indoctrination lair in Sitio Lagmak of Barangay Pagsangahan, General Nakar town in Quezon province.

Lt. Col. Christopher Diaz, commanding officer of 80th Infantry Battalion, said the combined forces of Philippine Army and Philippine National Police were conducting operations when they chanced upon the training lair, resulting in a clash with several NPA rebels.

“The operation was intelligence-driven and a calibrated response to information from a reliable source that the NPAs are conducting lectures and trainings in that area,” Diaz said on Monday.

He said the government troops were able to move closer to the NPA hideout while NPA members, belonging to Platoon 4A2 of KLG Cesar, SRMA-4A, were in their training session.

According to report that reached Camp Capinpin, the firefight lasted for over an hour and has left heavy casualties on the side of the NPA based on the heavy traces of bloodstains found on the rebels’ escape routes.

The NPA indoctrination lair has at least 20 fully-built huts and two lecture halls.

Col. Alex Rillera, Commander of the 202nd Infantry Brigade, said the encounter is a manifestation that the NPA no longer enjoys mass base support.

Rillera also assured the people of Region 4A (Calabarzon) that their soldiers “will be unrelenting in pursuing our goal of winning the peace even if it means putting our lives on the line and facing the horrors of conflict.”

Meanwhile, Brig. Gen. Arnulfo Marcelo B. Burgos Jr., Commander of the 2nd Infantry “Jungle Fighter” Division (2ID), commended the government forces their successful operation against the NPA, an armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP).

“The encounter shows that your soldiers are on top of the security situation and that we are always a step ahead of the enemies of the state. Thus, I urge the remaining members of the NPA to surrender, lay down your arms and live peaceful lives with your families because you are waging a futile war against the duly constituted government and its people,” Burgos said.

He also reaffirmed the soldiers’ unwavering commitment to serve the people and “secure this part of our land from the communist terrorists.”

“The Filipino people’s aspiration is to continue to enjoy the fruits of peace, prosperity and development in this part of the country,” he added.

The CPP-NPA is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines. PNA