2 NPA rebels in Sarangani clashes surrender to military
DIGOS CITY, Philippines – Two self-confessed communist rebels, who were among 30 New People’s Army (NPA) guerrillas who clashed with Army soldiers in Alabel, Sarangani, on Monday, surrendered to the military on Wednesday.
Lt. Col. Felix Ronnie Babac, commander of the 73rd Infantry Battalion, said Thursday that Mark Arnold Sawal Budion, and Bedeo Ansay, both 21 and residents of Barangay Datal Anggas in Alabel town, surrendered as the military intensified its pursuit of the rebels after Monday’s clash.
“They are still being investigated,” he said, adding that the two rebels might have cracked under the pressure of the military offensive.
Seven NPA guerrillas, including Front Committee 71 commander Tolentino Bariquit, 60, were killed in Monday’s clash, Babac said.
The Army also managed to recover nine firearms, landmines and personal belongings from the slain rebels, he said.
Babac described Bariquit, alias Brigol, as an NPA political officer.
He said the operation against the fleeing rebels was still going on, as of Thursday.
Babac said the result of Monday’s clash was the biggest accomplishment the 73rd IB has had in recent months.
The platoon involved in the encounter got recognition from Armed Forces Chief of Staff Gregorio Pio Catapang on Wednesday.
“2Lt. Jershon Sanchez, the scout platoon team leader during the firefight, received an interim medal (Triple M) for distinguished conduct star, which is a step away from the Medal of Valor, the most coveted award to soldiers in the battlefield,” he said.
Sanchez will also be promoted to the next rank for the feat of his platoon, according to Babac.
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