TACLOBAN CITY – A day-long joint military and police operations against the New People’s Army (NPA) in Negros Oriental on Saturday has resulted in the death of 14 and capture of 16 members.
Government forces served 36 search warrants to suspected rebel hideouts in three cities and nine towns in the province. Executive judges in Negros Oriental and Cebu City issued the warrants for alleged violation of Republic Act 10951 or the Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulation Act, government sources revealed.
Those killed reportedly fought back and engaged authorities in a shootout as the latter served the search warrants. Some eight of the fatalities were from Canlaon City, four from Manjuyod, and two from Santa Catalina Negros Oriental, it was reported.
Dubbed as “Oplan Sauron 2pt0”, the operation has led to the recovery of 53 assorted firearms, including high-powered rifles, handguns of various calibers and some grenades. Also seized were 210 assorted ammunition, seven gun magazines, 109 empty shells, four mobile phones, and voluminous subversive documents.
“The simultaneous implementation of 36 search warrants resulted to the arrest of 16 person subject for the search warrants while six suspects were able to elude arrest, but resulted to a positive recovery of their firearms,” the Philippine National Police said in its report.
“Oplan Sauron 2pt0” is an internal security operation plan against personalities connected to the Communist Party of the Philippines, NPA, National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF) in the first congressional district of Negros Oriental and a follow-up to the Dec. 27-29, 2018 operation dubbed as “Oplan Sauron,” the same sources explained.
The joint operations covered Ayungon, Canlaon City, Guihulngan City, Mabinay, Manjuyod, Siaton, Santa Catalina, Tanjay City, and Vallehermoso.
Government forces conducted the operation in response to recent attacks committed by the CPP-NPA, which is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States and European Union.
These rebel offensives reportedly include the thwarted attack on Canlaon Police Station, failed assassination of policemen in Manhuyod town, killing of an Army retiree, failed assassination of a junior police officer in Canlaon town, and assault on the residence of an intelligence operative of Manjuyod police station. Sarwell Meniano /PNA – northboundasia.com