FORT MAGSAYSAY, Nueva Ecija – Elements of Alpha Company, 56th Infantry (TATAG) Battalion under 1LT Joel B Romano, while conducting a clearing operation at the vicinity of Barangay Dimanayat, San Luis, Aurora, on August 7, 2016 at around 8:20 a.m., encountered the New People’s Army (NPA) remnants operating in the said area. Firefight ensued and lasted for about 15 minutes, after which, the enemy scampered towards the different directions. Recovered from the enemy are one (1) M16 rifle and one (1) AK47.

LTC Louie D Villanueva, Commanding Officer of 56IB, reported that the NPA remnants are believed to be members of Sub-Regional Guerilla Unit (SRGU) under an unknown leader. There are no reported casualties on the government side, while the enemy is believed to have suffered an undetermined number of casualties. The 56IB is still conducting pursuit operation as of this report.

Encounters such as this came in the wake of the unilateral ceasefire with the NPA which was declared by President Rodrigo Duterte on July 25, 2016, but was subsequently lifted on July 30, due to failure of the CPP-NPA-NDF to reciprocate the government’s declaration.

Major General Angelito M De Leon, Commander of the 7th Infantry (KAUGNAY) Division, under which the 56IB belongs, commended the troops involved in the encounter for their unwavering commitment and dedication to run after the NPA remnants and protect the civilian populace in the area. He further encouraged the NPA remnants to abandon the armed struggle and accept the government’s offer of peace. The government, under the new administration, is more than willing to help them re-enter in to mainstream society and live a normal life.