NSFA, Panacan, Davao City - A CPP- NPA Terrorist (CNT) Leader responsible for atrocities and coercion in Davao Del Sur died after being severely injured in an encounter which transpired noon of April 21, 2018 between the composite troops of the 39 Infantry Battalion and 2nd Scout Ranger Battalion against undetermined number of CNT at Sitio Bayongon, Brgy Astorga, Sta Cruz, Davao del Sur.
The CNT Leader was identified as Julito Pueblas alias Taghoy, Leader of the Sentro De Grabidad of Guerilla Front 51, a terrorist group known for its coercion and atrocities in the communities of Sta Cruz, Bansalan, and Digos City, all in Davao Del Sur and some part of Toril, Davao City.
Accordingly, during the initial encounter, troops captured a female NPA identified as Jessa Lumana and recovered one cadaver of an unidentified NPA terrorist.
Alias Taghoy, who was severely injured, was rescued by the pursuing troops at around 5 o' clock pm of the same day during the pursuit operations.
The troops exerted all efforts to administer first aid and save the groaning and severely wounded NPA Leader while evacuating him to a helicopter landing point. Unfortunately, alias Taghoy expired while in transit.
It can be recalled that Alias Taghoy and his group were responsible for the ambush of PNP SOCO personnel who responded to a crime situation sometime March 2017 and the ambush of an ambulance sometime March 2014 both in Managa, Bansalan, Davao Sur.
Further, he was also responsible for the liquidation of a certain Raul Alang in Sta Cruz, Davao Del Sur on Feb 5, 2018.
Earlier this month, the same Terrorist group was prevented from conducting atrocities in Digos City, Davao Del Sur after troops of 39IB encountered them in Bgy. Goma of the same City.
During the April 21 encounter, the troops were able to recover the following:
1) One M16A1 rifle with SN 1622671(tampered);
2) Four IEDs one of which is a 16 Kilogram improvised anti personnel landmine;
3) Two rifle grenades;
4) Three long and three short magazines;
5) Two Icom Radios with chargers;
6) Two bandoliers;
7) Seven back packs;
8) NDF and BHB flag; and
9) Medical supplies, other personal belongings and subversive documents.
On the other hand, one soldier was reported to have been wounded during the skirmish. He was identified as Cpl Kenneth James Balicot of the 2nd Scout Ranger Battalion.
Meantime, the captured female NPA was brought to a hospital in Sta Cruz, Davao Del Sur for medical checkup before she was turned over to the PNP for legal processing, while the cadavers of alias Taghoy and yet to be identified NPA member will be turned over to the Municipal Social Welfare and, subsequently, to their family after the SOCO procedure by the PNP Crime Laboratory.
Meantime, Lt General Benjamin Madrigal Jr. Commander Eastern Mindanao Command called on the terrorists to surrender and heed the call for peace or face the long arm of the law.
" While it is unfortunate that alias Taghoy expired after he was rescued, and that he can no longer face his charges in proper court for his atrocities, we hope that this will give closure to the families of his victims. On our part, as soldiers of peace, our doors will continue to be open, and we are very much willing to facilitate the surrender of those who want to return to the folds of the law. Do not miss this golden opportunity that our government under President Rodrigo Roa Duterte is offering you." Gen. Madrigal Jr. said.
"Our troops with due regard to respect of human rights and adherence to International Humanitarian Law will continue to exert all our efforts to secure our communities and will not allow any threats to coerce and victimize our people." Gen. Madrigal Jr. added.