CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Philippines – Soldiers from the Philippine Army's 8th Infantry Battalion and 43rd Division Reconnaissance Company of the 4th Infantry Division captured a New People's Army camp in a mountainous area between Bukidnon and Agusan del Sur provinces before noon Monday, December 31.
A running gunbattle was still ongoing said a report by the 4th ID, but the government troops have successfully taken over the NPA encampment.
403rd Infantry Brigade commander Army Colonel Edgardo de Leon said two NPA cadres were killed in the New Year's Eve assault.
De Leon said the rebels belonged to the NPA's sub-regional committee 2 of North Central Mindanao Regional Committee.
"As of now, the 8th IB and the 43rd DRC are pursuing the NPA rebels who fled after their hideout was overrun," De Leon added.
De Leon said two M14 assault rifles belonging to slain NPA rebels were recovered by the soldiers.
"Long-live to our Filipino Soldiers! Our sacrifices of not being with our families this Yuletide holidays in order to effectively protect our people and our land was worth worth it," Col Edgardo De Leon said.
4th Infantry Division Commander and also the Acting Commander of Eastern Mindanao Command, Major General Ronald Villanueva renewed his call for the rebels to surrender.
In the past years, the government and the insurgents declared separate unilateral ceasefires in observance of the Christmas season. This year, however, the government did not reciprocate the NPA's unilateral ceasefire as President Rodrigo Duterte ordered the AFP to crush the NPA. The communist insurgency in the country is said to be Asia's longest Maoist rebellion. – Rappler.com