Gov’t troops overrun NPA camp in Ifugao, seize high powered guns

BAGUIO CITY — Government troops overran a New People’s Army (NPA) camp in Ifugao and seized four high powered firearms and other belongings.

In an information provided by the 5th Infantry Division (5ID) Public Affairs Office (DPAO) on Tuesday evening, the 54th Infantry Battalion (54IB) overran another NPA camp at Sitio Galindungan, Barangay Dango, Tinoc, Ifugao on July 10, while the 24IB also confiscated a firearm left in a residence at Sitio Labawan, Barangay Danac East, Boliney, Abra on July 9.

Captain Jefferson Somera, 5ID DPAO chief said the two troops’ accomplishment were a result of the separate operations conducted in their respective areas. 54IB operates in Ifugao while the 24IB operates in Abra.

He said that based on the report of Lt. Col. Nicolas Quemado Jr., Commander of the 54IB, a firefight ensued between their troops and the rebel groups in Ifugao which lasted for ​25 minutes that forced the communist rebels to scamper to different directions, leaving their camp including two M16 Armalite and one M14 rifles, assorted war materiel, medical paraphernalia, and personal belongings.

Quemado described the NPA camp to be about 500 square meters with 38 tents and four makeshift structures.

He reported that their troops’ operation was launched as a pre-emptive measure following an information from the community that the NPAs are preparing to conduct another atrocity. The operation led to the encounter with no casualty reported from the side of the government.

In February, the 54IB also overran an NPA camp in Barangay Namal, Asipulo, Ifugao which also led to the seizure of high powered firearms and the wounding of a medical officer of the communist rebels.

A day prior to the 54IB’s operation, operatives of the 24IB also figured in a firefight with the NPA in Abra where an escaping member of the NPA left in a private residence in Barangay Danac East, Boliney, Abra an M16 rifle.

Somera said the group of Lt. Col. Thomas Dominic Baluga, Commander of 24IB was able to retrieve a firearm.

He added that with the two recent accomplishments, the government has recovered 12 high powered firearms and the capture of amazons.

Major General Paul Atal, 5ID Commander and at the same time the Commander of Joint Task Force TALA lauded the soldiers of the two brigades for their relentless efforts to clear Abra and Ifugao of communist terrorists’ influence.

He said, “don’t let your guards down because these NPAs we are confronting may conduct retaliatory atrocities any time. Let us protect our people and their properties against this group who are pretending to be pro-people.”

He also urged the soldiers to continue being vigilant.

Atal added that while the NPAs are intensifying their terroristic acts in the Cordillera, government troopers will always be ready to protect the people against the NPA and will not fail the Filipinos. Liza Agoot/