Philippine Army overruns terrorist main camp in Northern Samar
Tacloban City, Philippines - In what was described as the greatest setback to the New People’s Army (NPA) terrorists in Eastern Visayas, the operatives of the 20th Infantry Battalion (We Lead) of the 8th Infantry Division of the Philippine Army, overrun on Saturday, the main camp of the Main Regional Guerilla Unit code-named “Polaris Command” of the Eastern Visayas Regional Party Committee (EVRPC) of the Communist Party of the Philippines – New People’s Army (CPP-NPA).
According to the report of Philippine Information Agency Region 8, the main camp of the Polaris Command which was at the tri-boundary of Lope de Vega, Silvino Lobos, both of Northern Samar, and Calbayog City, had more than fifty communist terrorists when the troops overrun and eventually captured them.
Lt. Colonel Francis Cabugon, commanding officer of the 20th Infantry Battalion revealed that the report on the presence of Communist Terrorist main camp in barangay Imelda, Silvino Lobos was tipped and revealed by civilians who are victims of New Peoples Army abuses and who have been deprived of the development that would have uplifted their economic condition. The civilians said that the NPAs have been receiving big portion of the Internal Revenue Allotment as their extortion money from most of the barangays in the tri-boundary of the three Samar provinces.
When Lt. Colonel Cabugon received the information from the civilians, he immediately sent, on March 11, two Platoons of soldiers led by Second Lt. Andrew N. Linao and Second Lt. Ceasar B. Manabat, to act on the report.
It took the troops three days of walking cross country, before they reached the reported area and caught by surprise the armed NPAs.
After more than one hour of gunfire, the troops successfully overrun and eventually captured the NPA main camp.
The communist terrorists scampered and escaped to save their lives leaving two dead bodies of their comrades, four M16 rifles, one ICOM, one claymore mine, six jungle packs with subversive documents and personal belongings.
The courage and determination displayed by the 20th IB troops bespeaks of the highly motivated men of the 8th Infantry Division under the leadership of Major General Arthur Tabaquero who constantly exhorts his men to “work harder to liberate our people from the abuses and extortion of the NPA terrorists.”
The decisive engagement that resulted to the capture of the CPP-NPA main camp could be the biggest setback to the NPA terrorists under the Eastern Visayas Regional Party Committee following the downfall of their leadership.
The decisive engagement is a milestone and a manifestation of the 8th ID’s sincerity in their task of eradicating insurgency in the Region and achieves peace and development for the people of Region 8.