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Civilian tips, leads to seizure of two (2) NPA encampments in Northern Samar

By 20th Infantry Battalion, 8ID PA
November 25, 2011

BRGY MAGSAYSAY, Lope de Vega, Northern Samar  –  Due to the accurate and timely information given by peace loving residents in the area, the troops of 20th Infantry (We Lead) Battalion, 8ID, PA under the leadership of LTC Noel A. Vestuir has again seized NPA encampments at Barangays San Julian and Trangue all of Catarman, Northern Samar last November 22 and 23, 2011 respectively.

According to LTC Vestuir, 20IB’s Commanding Officer, civilian informants in the area has tipped-in information about the presence of armed Communist Terrorists (CTs) that are conducting house to house visitation and collecting food stuffs from the residents in the barangays located the boundaries of Bobon and Catarman of Northern Samar.

Reacting to the said information, 20IB has sent troops to verify the reported presence of the CTs in the area. On November 22 2011, 20IB troopers led by 2LT Al Peter Galula (INF) PA discovered an abandoned enemy camp at vicinity Brgy San Julian, Catarman, Norther Samar. The said encampment can accommodate more or less twenty (20) CTs and was abandoned after the NPAs left the place to avoid armed confrontation with the government troops.

In related development, the pursuit operations conducted by the government troops has resulted to a series of two (2) encounters at Barangay E Duran of Bobon and Barangay Trangue of Catarman all of Northern Samar last November 22 and 23, 2011 respectively. As a result, the operating troops led by 2LT Jec McWill Santos (INF) PA were able to overrun another CT camp at barangay Trangue on November 23, 2011 at around 1:30 in the afternoon. The troops also recovered personal belongings and empty shells of different types and calibers of ammunition left behind by the fleeing CTs. No one was hurt in the government side while it could not be ascertained that there were scores of wounded in the NPA side due to the bloodstains that were seen in the encounter site.

Meanwhile, LTC Vestuir commended his troops for another successful feat as they continue to perform their mandate of protecting the people. He also appreciated the action of the mentioned civilian who provided the timely information on the activities of the CTs in their barangay. Based on the account of the civilians in the area, the NPAs in the 1st District of Northern Samar could no longer hide from the pursuing government forces considering that even the civilians who they claimed to be their “masa” are squealing their location.

“The NPAs has no way to run.  They can no longer hide and even no longer safe with the masses they believed to be theirs.  We will continue to pursue them and so that they will be forced to abandon their armed struggle for them to return to the folds of law and once again live normal and decent lives along with their families.  As I commend my troops for their successful deed of executing their mission, I would also like to recognize the support of the local folks for without it, our mission would not be carried out successfully”, says LTC Vestuir.

“I also attribute this success to our people because for every violent enemy activity pre-empted by our troops, it creates a secured environment for the peace loving communities in our area of operations”, Vestuir added.

He also calls on the people to report any person, wounded or not, that are seen in their barrio since the 20IB is openly willing to provide assistance to them at any cause.  “We once again solicit support to our people to report to us any wounded person that you believe to be part of the said encounter.  We are willing to help them and provide the necessary assistance and I am assuring them that they will never be harmed”, Vestuir concluded.