Troops seize guns, grenade in Occidental Mindoro clash

MANILA – Government forces seized weapons from New People’s Army rebels in a clash in Occidental Mindoro early Wednesday.

In a Facebook post on Wednesday night, the Philippine Army’s (PA) 203rd Infantry Brigade, the mother unit of the 68th Infantry Battalion, said the encounter took place at around 4:45 a.m. in Barangay Iriron in the town of Calintaan.

After a 10-minute firefight, troops recovered two firearms, a grenade, and other war materiel.

Blood trails were also found at the encounter site, indicating that some of the rebels were wounded in the firefight.

In the same post, 203rd Infantry Brigade commander, Jose Antonio V. Villareal, said the clash stemmed from reports of the residents who suffer from the insurgents’ extortion of food and other supplies and fear that they might be caught in the crossfire should an encounter take place in their locality.

He added that the NPA’s scare tactics and forced recruitment of indigenous peoples or Mangyans in Mindoro to join their ranks are violations of the International Humanitarian Law.

The Communist Party of the Philippines-NPA is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines.

The National Democratic Front was formally designated as a terrorist organization by the Anti-Terrorism Council on June 23, 2021, citing it as “an integral and inseparable part” of the CPP-NPA created in April 1973.

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