“An M14 rifle, live ammunitions, a backpack and assorted medicines” were reportedly seized by the 30th IB in its report of a supposed an armed encounter with the New People’s Army (NPA) in Mt. Susuhon, Sitio Barubangkaw, Barangay Taganito, Claver last February 25. However, no such encounter took place, according to the NPA provincial spokesperson.
NPA-Surigao del Norte spokesman, Ka Leo de Guerra, belied claims of the Armed Forces of the Philippines that a 10-minute firefight took place in the area.
“Bakak ug usa ka drama ang giingon kunong engkwentro” (The said encounter is a lie and a drama), de Guerra said. He further explained that if there were armed encounters with the NPA and AFP, the Red army would confirm the incident.
However, Red fighters did mount a tactical offensive on the same day, February 25, but it was in Barangay Oslao of San Francisco town. A unit of the NPA-Surigao del Norte ambushed a counterinsurgency unit of the Philippine National Police aboard a patrol car.
The NPA unit detonated an explosive as the vehicle passed by. Residents have long complained of the police’s abuses, arrest of small fisherfolks and peasants whose livelihood is wood gathering.
A day before, another unit of the NPA mounted an offensive against the abusive JV Construction Company in Barangay Binocaran, Malimono. Red fighters paralyzed a backhoe and a 10-wheeler truck worth P5.95 million.