AFP launches air, ground offensives against NPA in North Cotabato
KIDAPAWAN CITY – The military on Wednesday launched air and ground offensives against New People’s Army (NPA) rebels in the border of Magsaysay, Davao del Sur and Tulunan, North Cotabato.
Lt. Col. Rhojun Rosales, commander of the 39th Infantry Battalion, said Thursday the operations were launched following information from civilians that communist rebels were massing up in Sitio New Alomodian in Barangay Banayal.
The area served as North Cotabato’s border with nearby Davao del Sur, particularly Magsaysay town.
“The rebels were massing, conducting military drills in an apparent show of force, including their newly recruited members,” Rosales said in a radio interview.
He said the rebels numbered around 40 and were headed by Dave Verano alias “Commander Borjack” and Eusenio Cranzo alias “Commander Brix” of the NPA’s Front 72.
“They plotted to launch simultaneous attacks on Army positions, our operation prevented that plan,” Rosales said.
Rosales could not say whether the rebels sustained fatalities in the bomb run but added that there had been no casualty on the government side so far.
He said soldiers continued to pursue the fleeing rebels on Thursday.
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