4 NPA rebels yield after Ifugao clashes
KIANGAN, Ifugao – Four combatants of the New People’s Army, including an 18-year-old girl, surrendered to the Philippine Army following a Wednesday (Nov. 21) encounter at Barangay (village) Namal, in the Ifugao town of Asipulo, the commander of the Army’s 54th Infantry Battalion said on Thursday (Nov. 22).
Soldiers overran the rebel hideout in what was supposed to be a “rescue operation” to retrieve two NPA members who sent out feelers about giving up, said Lt. Col. Narciso Nabulneg on Thursday.
“After we confirmed they were at the site, we proceeded with the operation but took care to avoid hitting the two (who wanted to surrender) since our objective was not to destroy but rescue,” Nabulneg explained.
The initial firefight broke out at 6:30 a.m. at the rebel outpost followed by another clash near the hideout about 30 minutes later.
There were no casualties, when the Army took custody of their two targets while the other rebels fled the hideout, abandoning seven high-powered rifles, Claymore mines with detonating cords, radios, a generator set, and their personal belongings.
About 9 a.m., two men belonging to the communist group surrendered, bringing along several rifles and grenades.
The rebel hideout was operated by the NPA Kilusang Larangan Gerilya Ifugao, and could hold up to 20 fighters, Nabulneg said.
“They were preparing for a meeting with other NPAs coming from other areas but it was foiled,” he said.
Nabulneg said 15 NPA members have indicated they would formally surrender on Friday (Nov. 23).
“They were demoralized, so they surfaced, he said.
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