Units of the New People’s Army (NPA) mounted 11 offensives in Samar, Negros Occidental, Negros Oriental and Sorsogon from June 15 to 29 as challenge to Rodrigo Duterte’s last State of the Nation Address (SONA). Initial reports indicate that enemy units sustained 30 casualties with at least 26 killed.
Northern Samar. The NPA-Northern Samar ambushed soldiers scouring Km. 18, Happy Valley, San Isidro on July 23. Eleven soldiers were killed in the offensive. On the same day, an NPA unit ambushed another military unit in Catarman. These ambushes were mounted amid the enemy’s focused military operation that it has been conducting for half a year.. These military operations are conducted simultaneous with forced surrenders and harassment campaigns in around 25 barangays under the guise of the Retooled Community Support Program.
On the day of Duterte’s SONA, a police officer was killed while another was wounded during an NPA sniping operation in Barangay San Jose, Catubig. The NPA unit first encountered the police along the boundary of barangays Anongo and Hitapian on July 10 where two policemen were wounded. Red fighters also paid tribute to Ka Diwa, 24, who was martyred during an encounter last July 10 in Las Navas.
On July 29, the NPA-Northern Samar ambushed operating troops of the 83rd Military Intelligence Company in Barangay Dolores, Las Navas. Initial reports indicate that a military officer was killed while two others were wounded.
Negros Occidental. On July 21, the NPA-Southwest Negros mounted a harassment operation against operating troops of 15th IB at Sitio Makapula, Barangay Cabia-an, Candoni. The day before, Red fighters successively encountered the military at sitios Guinobatan and Moromanila in Barangay Caningay; and at sitios Lunoy and Catmon, Barangay Agboy. At least five soldiers were killed in the encounters.
A encounter between the NPA-South Central Negros and 94th IB also took place on July 22 at Sitio Manulaya, Barangay Tana-uan, Kabankalan City. Three AFP elements were killed in action.
Negros Oriental. In Guihulngan City, the NPA-Central Negros harassed a CAFGU detachment in Barangay Sandayao on July 21. The CAFGU and 62nd IB troops are notorious for harassing and threatening civilians, ransacking residences, and killing those whom they suspect of supporting the NPA.
Sorsogon. A policeman was killed in a sniping operation mounted by the NPA-Sorsogon at a checkpoint of the 2nd Police Provincial Mobile Force Company in Barangay Sta. Teresita, Bulan on July 21. The NPA-Sorsogon offensive was aimed to punish armed state elements who continue to perpetrate killings and suppression against Sorsoganons.