By Jennifer P. Rendon
Members of the Philippine Army’s 12th Infantry Battalion thwarted a planned attack against soldiers who were conducting Community Support Program (CSP) in Janiuay, Iloilo.
The incident happened around 1:55 p.m. of April 5 in the hinterland village of Aglobong, around 18 kilometers from the Janiuay town proper.
Brigadier General Marion Sison, 301st Infantry Brigade commander, said the 12IB troops had received information from upland village residents of the presence of New People’s Army (NPA) members in the area.
Members of the SYP Baloy Platoon are apparently eyeing an attack against CSP teams conducting community services and civil military operations (CMO)-related activities in the barangay.
These activities are anchored on the government’s CSP initiative which is a people-centered program which aims to bring peace and development in conflict-affected barangays. It is an initiative of our state forces to bring the government closer to the people through an immediate delivery of basic services, especially to grassroots communities.
A former NPA rebel claimed to have heard successive gunfire volleys that lasted for about five minutes. After which, sporadic gunshots that lasted for several minutes also followed.
The Army troops later recovered an M16 rifle and a magazine with 28 ammunition, an M203 grenade launcher, a mobile phone, a backpack, and a commercial radio.
They also seized a hammock, three pairs of slippers, two rain boots, a first aid kit, and civilian clothes.
The 12th IB soldiers also stumbled into a harbor site that could accommodate around 12 persons.
Sison said there was no casualty on the government side.
However, he’s not discounting that the rebels suffered injuries or even casualties.
Amid this another blow on the NPA’s senseless fight, Sison has lauded the community, as well as village officials, for the strong support to the Philippine Army troops in the area.
“The help of the community and the stakeholders would spell a difference for us to win this war against the local communist armed conflict,” he said.
If this persists, Sison said he is certain that peace and development is within reach.