CATARMAN, Northern Samar – Two separate encounters transpired in Northern Samar and Samar on January 21, 2019.
Elements of 803rd Infantry Brigade responded to separate distress calls of civilian on the New People’s Army (NPA) extortion activity in Barangay Epaw, Las Navas, Northern Samar and Barangay Calundan, San Jorge, Samar.
About 12:10 pm, personnel of the 81st Division Reconnaissance Company (DRC), 8ID, PA encountered more or less 10 fully armed NPA as troops responded to the report of NPA presence in the area.
Said NPAs were members of Front Committee 1 (FC-1), Sub-Regional Committee (SRC) “Emporium” under certain Norma Ultra AKA Ka Aya, Ka Dodo and Ka Basoy. Firefight lasted for about five minutes before the NPA fled. Government troops are still on pursuit.
An hour later, about 1:32 pm, another encounter transpired between personnel of 83rd Division Reconnaissance Company (DRC), 8ID, PA and 20 fully armed NPA of Central Front Samar, SRC “Browser” under Eldie Dela Cruz AKA Ka Star and Bernabe Linay AKA Ka Payo in Brgy Calundan, San Jorge, Samar.
Firefight lasted for 20 minutes before the NPA hastily fled leaving behind subversive materiel and documents, including personal belongings.
Brgy Calundan is approximately five kilometers away from Brgy Bay-ang, San Jorge where the Eastern Visayas Regional Party Committee (EVRPC) main camp were overrun by personnel of 803rd Brigade last January 11, 2019.
B/Gen. Ramil M Bitong, commander of 803rd Infantry Brigade, said “The reports of the people that led to location of the NPA manifested the people’s rejection of these armed bandits who have long been pestering isolated communities.
Gen Bitong added that he is expecting more of these encounters until these bandits are banished. “These misled NPA’s still have the chance to avail the government’s Enhanced-Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP) before it becomes too late.” (PR)