BALOI, Lanao del Norte (PIA) – A clash erupted between the 4th Mechanized Infantry ‘Kalasag’ Battalion (4th Mech) and New People’s Army (NPA) at Sitio Pudong, Brgy. Mainit, Iligan City past 12 p.m. Wednesday, May 27.
4th Mech Commanding Officer, Lt. Col. Domingo G. Dulay Jr, said the unit responded to information tipped-off by concerned residents saying that members of the NPA were terrorizing the community by extorting foodstuff and money from them.
During the 30-minute firefight, one soldier was wounded and had been immediately brought to the city for medical attention. The wounded soldier is now in stable condition while other troops continue to search and conduct pursuit operations against fleeing members of the communist-terrorist group.
The troops are confident that some NPA members were also wounded in the clash based on bloodstains in the encounter site.
The AFP is closely working with the local government of Iligan City and the members of the City Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (CTF-ELCAC) to ensure that services of the government reach far-flung barangays like Brgy Mainit, and protect the community from NPA influence.
In 2019, Brgy. Mainit has passed a resolution denouncing the presence of NPA terrorists and declaring them as persona non grata.
The terrorist group is suffering from a lack of food supplies which has pushed them to extort from the residents who are also affected by the limited movement caused by COVID19.
The government has repeatedly called on members of the NPA to take advantage of the government’s Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP) for them to come back to the folds of the law and live peacefully.
BGen Facundo Palafox IV, Commander of the 2nd Mechanized Infantry Brigade, who has operational jurisdiction in Lanao del Norte and Iligan City said the AFP will continue to go after these communist-terrorists wherever they are; and will execute the mandate to protect the people from all forms of threat.
“We call on all members of the NPA to surrender and join the mainstream society. You all have been deceived but the government is willing to help rebuild your lives together with your family,” he said. (4th Mech/PIA ICIC)