CAMP VICENTE LUKBAN, Catbalogan City – Seven Communist NPA Terrorists (CNTs) were killed and four firearms were seized during the conduct of Joint Focused Military Operation of the AFP and in coordination with PNP in the hinterlands of Barangay Santander, Bobon, Northern Samar on April 30, 2023.
The joint operation was conducted following the information given by a concerned civilians that a group of armed men were seen passing thru in the outskirts of said barangay.
More or less 40 CTG members who belonged to the Sub-Regional Guerilla Unit (SRGU) and remnants of the dismantled Front Committee-2 (FC-2), Sub-Regional Committee (SRC) Emporium, Eastern Visayas Regional Party Committee (EVRPC) led by Mario Sevillano alias Durok, a notorious CNT leader who perpetrated numerous atrocities in the areas of Northern Samar was encountered by troops under 803rd Brigade early morning, today.
Accordingly, the terrorist’s hideouts were heavily fortified and surrounded by prohibited anti-personnel mines (APMs) that prompted the troops to call for close air and artillery support.
The government troops recovered seven unidentified cadavers seized one R4 rifle, two M16 rifles, one AK47 rifle, one international humanitarian law-banned anti-personnel mine and subversive documents. Clearing efforts is still ongoing as of this reporting and troops on the ground seen heavy bloodstain along their route of withdrawal which indicates that the CNTs suffered heavy casualty.
Bobon Mayor Reny Celespara called on the remaining CNTs “Sa mga kapatid natin na patuloy na lumalaban sa gobyerno, ako ay nakikiusap na kayo po ay mag surrender at tumulong sa mga inisyatiba ng ating gobyerno, at sa mga naliligaw ng landas na mga kapatid, sa mga sugatan kayo po ay magsurrender na. Ang gobyerno lokal, probinsya, at national ay naririto po, handang tumulong sa inyong pagbabagong-buhay at upang maipagpatuloy ang progreso ng ating bayan para sa inyong pamilya at sa buong bayan.”
JTF Storm and 8th Infantry Division Commander Major General Camilo Ligayo said that the success of the operation was made possible thru the recent efforts to clear the “eryang kinikilusan” barangays which hindered the CNTs for logistical and operational support.
“Last year na clear natin ang mga eryang kinikilusan ng Front Committee 2 that prompted their dismantling sa tulong ng ating mga Local Chief Executives mas naunawaan ng ating mga residente ng Northern Samar ang kanilang responsibilidad sa pagresolba ng insurhensiya,” Maj. Gen. Ligayo said.
“We urge the remaining members of the CNTs to lay down their arms and go home to their families, the government is willing and eager to help you to start a normal life,” Maj. Gen. Ligayo added.
The encountered CNT unit is notorious for numerous atrocities in Northern Samar such as ambuscades, extortions, and killings. One of which is the attack of two unarmed Cafgu Active Auxillary (CAA) in San Isidro, Northern Samar last August 2021. Likewise, multiple warrants of arrest for murder and attempted murder was filed for their inhumane activities.