Military airstrikes pound rebel lair in Cagayan | Inquirer News

Military airstrikes pound rebel lair in Cagayan

/ 04:40 AM February 01, 2022

Resident of Cagayan feeling from military bombardment

BOMB RAID: A resident of Barangay Santa Clara in Gonzaga, Cagayan province, flees his village at the height of the military airstrike on Mt. Cagua on Jan. 29. (Photo courtesy of MARIVIC ASCUETA)

GAMU, Isabela, Philippines — Government aircraft dropped bombs on a suspected stronghold of the New People’s Army (NPA) in Gonzaga town, Cagayan province, on Jan. 29 as the Philippine Army’s 501st Infantry Battalion fought off alleged communist rebels on Mt. Cagua.

Air support from the Tactical Operations Group bombarded the uninhabited mountain in Sitio Maging, Barangay Santa Clara, said Army Capt. Rigor Pamittan, spokesperson of the Army’s 5th Infantry Division (ID), the military’s primary anti-insurgency unit in northern Luzon based in Isabela province.


The government troops fought members of the NPA’s East Front Komiteng Probinsya Cagayan, who had been holed out in the mountain, Pamittan told the Inquirer by phone on Sunday.


On Monday, the Army said it was still gathering information on whether there were casualties among the rebels, as it cautioned the public against photos circulating and going viral on social media showing several bodies of suspected communist rebels that were reportedly retrieved from the clash site.

‘Causing confusion’

In a statement, the Army’s 5th ID said the photos were “causing confusion” since these were unrelated to the Cagayan clash.

He said the photos of the armed encounter were between the military’s 62nd Infantry Battalion and the communist rebels in the City of Guihulngan, Negros Oriental province, that happened in March 23 last year.

During the airstrike in Gonzaga, villagers in Barangay Santa Clara confirmed spotting truckloads of soldiers being transported to Cagua. They also reported hearing explosions at the foot of the mountain, which is about 8 kilometers from the village center.

Villager Rod Erick Sola said he was at Barangay Rebecca, which is about 16 km from Mt. Cagua, and could hear gunfire and explosions there during the airstrike.

Ferdinand Cortez, public relations officer of the Department of Agriculture in Cagayan Valley, on Monday said his relatives also heard gunfire from Barangay Maging, another village in Gonzaga.


READ: NPA arms cache unearthed in Cagayan province

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