MANILA, Philippines – The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) reported the arrest of nine New People’s Army (NPA) members including a 12 year-old “child warrior” at a forested area in Barangay Mabuhay, San Fernando, Bukidnon on Thursday (September 9).
The arrest followed an encounter with troops of the 4th Infantry (Diamond) Division and members of the CPP-NPA terrorists which also resulted in the killing of four NPA rebels and the seizure of 16 high-powered firearms.
Prior to the encounter, the military received information from residents that a group of NPA rebels had been conducting recruitment and extortion activities in their community.
The elements of 88 Infantry Battalion under the operational control of the 403rd Infantry Brigade of the 4th Infantry (Diamond) Division immediately conducted strike operations to protect the populace in the said area.
Major General Romeo Brawner Jr., Commander of the 4ID, disclosed that the one-hour running gun battle which ensued around 8:00 a.m. Thursday, initially resulted in the seizure of three AK47 Rifles, four M16 Rifles and one M203 grenade launcher, the killing of four unidentified NPAs, and capture of two others.
The military chased the terrorists after the initial firefight.
Brawner said the troop’s persistence during pursuit operation resulted in the subsequent capture of another seven NPAs including the 12-year-old child.
Another set of high-powered firearms composed of two AK47 rifles, three M16 rifles, one M14 rifle, and two M653 rifles were seized.
Brawner confirmed that the pursuit operations are still ongoing.