Gunfight with rebels in Umayamnon tribe area

By Ruby Leonora R. Balistoy

MALAYBALAY CITY, Bukidnon, Feb. 3 (PIA)—One soldier wounded in a firefight Sunday, with rebels in the Umayam tribe region, Cabanglasan, Bukidnon.

Brigadier General Ferdinand T. Barandon, Philippine Army 403rd brigade commander said one New People’s Army (NPA) rebel could be dead but can be confirmed only after the ongoing clearing operation is done.

He said the encounter site near the rugged Pantaron Range made more difficult for them to scour with continuous bad weather.

He also told his troopers to be compassionate with wounded rebels they might find in the mountain.

“Take care of them,” he implied.

BGen. Barandon said this soldiers’ offer to assist the wounded rebels every after encounters—during clearing operations—is completely in line with the government’s past practices in accord with the international humanitarian law that says “no wounded and sick combatants shall be left without proper medical care.”

He, meanwhile, urged those remaining NPA members to come down and take advantage of the government’s peace, livelihood, and development projects under the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP).

“To the NPAs who continue to sow fear to those who supported and joined in the government’s bandwagon for peace, I enjoin you to lay down your arms and live peacefully because there will be no let-up in our operations in hunting down the remaining CPP-NPA terrorists,” he said. (RLRB/PIA Bukidnon)