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Police, Army seize rebel camp in Catarman

COMBINED elements of the Philippine Army and the Philippine National Police (PNP) seized recently a New People’s Army (NPA) camp in the hinterlands of Catarman, Northern Samar.

Lieutenant Colonel Noel A. Vestuir, commanding officer of the 20th Infantry Battalion (IB), reported that the camp was seized by the troops of 3rd Regional Public Safety Mobile Company, which is under the control of 20th IB.

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According to Vestuir, the camp has 14 bunkers that can accommodate about 20 people. Recovered in the place were dry cell batteries, one empty bandolier, and an ammunition pouch.

“It has just been abandoned by the communists as they evaded armed engagement with the operating troops,” he said.

The camp was discovered after 20th IB launched sustained combat operations in the area of Catarman in response to the series of killing incidents perpetrated by the NPA early this week.

Vestuir said a certain Allan Martinez was forcibly abducted and shot to death by six unidentified communist rebels in his house in Barangay Cal-Igang, Catarman last November 10.

In the evening of the same day, Vestuir added, the communists also abducted and killed a certain Romeo Salazar Lovino in Barangay New Rizal in the same town.

“The series of recent killings perpetrated by the NPAs in the area of Catarman is again a ploy of the communist terrorists to instill fear among the peace-loving people as their means of getting their support which is in consonance to the Maoist dictum of ‘kill one to terrorize one thousand,’” Vestuir said.

He said the liquidations were another deception to the PNP and military, adding that once authorities react, the communists would establish an ambush along the route -- similar to what they (NPA) did in Barangay Imelda last year where they planted landmines that killed and injured a number of responding police personnel.

Vestuir also lauded the collaborative efforts between the PNP and the Philippine Army, and thanked the continued support of the people in the government’s efforts of “winning the peace”.

“Through the timely and accurate information tipped by the residents, our troops were able to discover the NPA encampment, a staging place of their terroristic activities in the area. The seizure of the said NPA encampment is a big blow to the communists considering that we have denied them of their safe haven and sanctuary and once again proven that the people are with us in our pursuit for peace in this part of the country,” Vestuir said. (Leyte Samar Daily Express)

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Monday, November 21, 2011

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