LEGAZPI CITY, 3-May-2013 (PNA) – Two members of the communist New People’s Army surrendered to Philippine Army soldiers in the middle of a firefight in Barangay Siuton, Magallanes, Sorsogon on Thursday.
Army Col. Teody T. Toribio, commanding officer of the Army’s 31st Infantry Battalion, said in a report on Friday that a team of soldiers under Army Captain Christopher Santander encountered ten rebels while on a combat patrol in the forested area of Barangay Siuton.
“The firefight, which lasted for ten minutes, yielded three M-16 rifles, a landmine, anti-government documents and campaign paraphernalia. No one was hurt among the soldiers,” Toribio said.
He identified the rebels who surrendered as Judy Torres alias Ka Roy, 33, a resident of Barangay Dolos, Bulan, Sorsogon, and Jomar Gracilla alias Ka Marvin, 19, of Barangay Pili, Magallanes, Sorsogon.
Both rebels were unhurt during the encounter and are treated well at the headquarters of the 31IB in Barangay Rangas, Juban, Sorsogon.
It took place after concerned citizens tipped off the military about the presence of rebels demanding permits to campaign from politicians, Toribio said.
The rebels belong to the NPA’s Larangan 1, the former Front Committee 80 in Sorsogon, he added.
Col. Joselito Kakilala, commander of the 903rd Infantry Brigade, lauded the quick response of the soldiers to the reports of the civilians.
He also praised the soldiers involved in the operation for their professional conduct in the observance of the rules of engagement and human rights.
The encounter was the second in three days in Bicol.
On April 29, soldiers of the 83rd IB in Catanduanes encountered ten NPA rebels in San Andres town who yielded an M-16 rifle.
A soldier, Pfc. Christopher Briguela, was wounded during the encounter. (PNA)