SURIGAO CITY, Surigao del Norte, May 17 -- A ranking cadre of Guerilla front 16 died in an encounter with the government forces at the vicinity of Sitio Pingaping, Barangay Motorpool, Tubod, Surigao del Norte on May 12.
The encounter ensued between the operating troops of 30th Infantry (Fight On) Battalion (30IB) and members of SYPC2, GF16 under Alberto Castaneda alias 'JD' when the soldiers responded to the report regarding the presence of the said armed group in the area.
The said firefight lasted for about 25 minutes and resulted to the death of Christopher John Trugelio alias 'Krokis/Ajet,' a political instructor of SYP16C2, Guerilla Front 16 and a resident of KM 10 Purok Rosal, Barangay Quezon, Surigao City.
Seized from the encounter site were one 9mm pistol, one improvised explosive, four Baofeng VHF radios, assorted ammunition and magazines, personal belongings, hammocks and subversive documents. No casualty was reported on the government side while pursuit operation is still ongoing.
According to Lt. Col. Charles Ryan G. Callanta, commanding officer of 30IB, they immediately launched the operation when they received the information regarding the whereabouts of the CTG.
"We are determined to go after the said group because we want to ensure the safety and security of communities within the vicinity. The initial information revealed that the said group may possibly conduct atrocity in the said area," he said.
Meanwhile, Brigader General George L Banzon, commander of 901st Infantry (Fight'Em) Brigade, expressed gratitude to the local residents who gave their full trust and untiringly support the soldiers by giving timely information that led to the successful operation.
"As we always say, the information coming from the localities are very vital. The outcome in the recent encounter clearly manifests that our soldier can promptly act on the arising situation if the community will give their utmost cooperation. Our main objective is to prevent this armed group from entering the community and disrupting the lives of the people," he said.
On the other hand, Brig. Gen. Banzon expressed his condolences to the family of the dead NPA rebel. He said that another life had gone to waste because of a senseless armed struggle being waged by the CPP-NPA-NDF. He further said that the use of violence in resolving societal issues will never be an option.
"The use of violence will never resolve our problems and it will just make things complicated. The recent encounter that led to the untimely demise of another NPA may serve as a wake-up call for those CTG members who are still blinded by the wrong ideology," he said.
He likewise gave assurance that the operating troops will continue to be relentless in conducting security operations so that the communities will be safeguarded from the threat of the CTG who capitalizes violence to pursue their agenda. (901st Infantry Brigade, Phil. Army/PIA-Surigao del Norte)