(Makilala-North Cotabato) - Series of reports received by 39IB, 10th ID, PA based in Makilala, North Cotabato from concerned citizens about the presence of armed rebels conducting extortions and recruitment especially youths on 03 November 2017 at Sitio Mahayag, Brgy Old Bulatukan, Makilala, North Cotabato.
As a background, the NPA in Makilala area covered by Guerilla Front 51 has been reported for the conduct of series of illegal activities like: extortion from businessmen involving in the burning of trucks/buses, liquidation of local official, kidnapping, depriving civilian rights, continuous exploitation, and harassment.
Upon knowing the report, LTC HAROLD M ARGAMOSA INF (GSC) PA Commander, 39IB sent out troops to confirm the reports. While on their way, an undetermined number of fully armed NPAs fired upon the approaching troops that prompted them to immediately maneuvered, occupy a more vantage position and delivered suppressive fires toward enemy position. Sensing the multitude of enemy strength of GF 51 under @ Mackoy/Greg, the troops requested for Close Air Support (CAS) and fire support to maintain the combat initiative against the enemy.
Another Platoon was also inserted for hot pursuit/clearing operation along possible enemy withdrawal/routes. The firefight lasted for almost an hour. The operation resulted to the recovery of one (1) M4 carbine, one (1) M16 rifle, personal belongings, backpacks, voluminous subversive documents and overrun the NPA camp that can accommodate more or less 70- 80 NPAs. While no casualty on the government forces.
Meanwhile, COL ROBERTO T ANCAN FA (GSC) PA, Commander 1002nd Infantry Brigade, PA further stressed that “ the Army will continue to maximized its military assets to preserve peace and protect the civilian from any harm which had been abused for so long by NPA in his area of responsibilities”.
Also, MGEN NOEL S CLEMENT AFP, Commander 10ID, pointed-out that "We are grateful to the residents of Makilala who are concerned and reported the presence of NPAs in their area. Sad to say, that some people joined the NPA and took arms against the government due to some promises of insurgent leaders. For now, it is high time to convince our brothers- NPA to go back to the fold of the law and think of their families and the future of their children," he added.