Clash with Rebels Yields High Powered Weapons in Catanduanes

Monday, April 19th, 2010

PILI, Camarines Sur, April 14  -- Army soldiers recovered two high powered assault rifles following a clash on Monday with communist rebels in a village in Panganiban town in Catanduanes, an Army officer said.

Army Lt. Col. Romeo Basco, commander of the 83rd Infantry Battalion said his men encountered about 10 heavily armed New People's Army (NPA) rebels led by Daniel Fria aka Tabs, secretary of Nerissa San Juan Command, in Barangay San Miguel, Panganiban, Catanduanes at 8:30 a.m. Monday.

A 15-minute firefight ensued when government forces engaged the rebels in a running gun battle, after which the enemy retreated in disarray bringing along their fallen companions.

Recovered from the scene of encounter include one AK47; one M16 rifle hydra; a bandoleer for AK47 with six magazines loaded with ammo, one backpack containing subversive documents with high intelligence value.

There were no casualties on the government side, Basco said.

Basco said he received on Saturday a phone call from a political candidate informing him about the supposed collection of permit to campaign (PTC) demanded by the communist rebels.

Basco immediately dispatch a 20-man section of soldiers to apprehend the extortionists.

Military intelligence said that it is the third engagement with the NPA rebels in Catanduanes this year that led to the recovery of a total of 10 high powered firearms and over 600 pieces PTC cards and the killing of at least four bandits.

Basco has called on local politicians to report the extortion demands of the NPA rebels. (PNA)

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