Photo Courtesy: 5th ID

CAMP MELCHOR DELA CRUZ, Upi, Gamu, Isabela– Troops of 77th Infantry Battalion recovered several war materials of the NPA after a firefight in Barangay Sta. Margarita, Baggao, Cagayan.

The armed encounter between the military troops and the NPAs lasted for 20 minutes wherein the enemy withdrew towards the south direction. “Our troops are conducting Focused Military Operation in the said place to secure the people against the threat of the NPAs when they were fired upon by the undetermined number of members of the East Front Committee, Komiteng Probinsya Cagayan, Komiteng Rehiyon-Cagayan Valley under the command of a certain alias Bon,” Lt. Col. Joeboy Kindipan, Battalion Commander of 77IB said.

Upon scouring the encounter site, the troops recovered one M16 rifle, two Cal .45 pistols, two magazines of Cal .45 pistol with ammunition, four long and two short magazines for M16, 52 rounds of ammunition for M16, one grenade MK2, three handheld radios, Anakbayan flag, medical paraphernalia, personal belongings, and subversive documents.

Brig. Gen. Steve Crespillo, Brigade Commander of 501st Infantry Brigade said that with the lost materials of the NPAs, their forces will be further weakened. “These NPA are the same group we are hunting since the incident in Gonzaga, Cagayan. With our continuous operations against the terrorist group, they are constantly fleeing away from our forces and are now at the very low state of morale due to pressure. We will always be vigilant. In no time, we will be dismantling the East Front Committee of the KomProb Cagayan.”

“About the recovery of the Anakbayan flag, we are certain that the group is related to the terrorist group. This solidifies the link between the organizations with the NPA,” Brig. Gen. Crespillo added.

Moreover, Maj. Gen. Laurence Mina, Commander of 5th Infantry Division, Philippine Army, lauded the troops’ accomplishment. “You have shown your gallantry in protecting our people against the atrocities of the NPAs. With that, I commend you all. Let us continue to shield our people against the NPA.”

Meanwhile, the recovered items were brought to 77IB Headquarters for proper disposition.(5th ID)