Elite army rangers overrun NPA camp in Davao

MANILA, Philippines – A small band of the elite Scout Rangers overrun a large camp occupied by more 200 New People’s Army (NPA) rebels operating in Davao Oriental, a military official said Monday.

Lt. Colonel Gilbert Saret, the Commanding Officer of the 25th Infantry Battalion based here said that the 40-man Scout Ranger unit, the 6th Scout Ranger Company led by Captain Aunor Balansi, stumbled upon a large enemy encampment in Sitio Carampel (sub-village), Aliwagwag village of Cateel town in Davao Oriental early afternoon yesterday, Sunday.

Despite being outnumbered, the Scout Rangers outfought the rebels who were confused by the presence of the renowned ‘Black Panthers’ simultaneously attacking from various locations, employing snipers and automatic rifles.

“The NPA rebels withdrew in complete disarray with their numerous casualties as indicated by heavy pools of blood along the route of withdrawal. They left behind 5 high-powered firearms including a Cal 5.56mm M4 Rifle, two Cal 5.56mm M16 assault rifles, and two Cal 7.62mm M14 assault rifles,” Saret added.

“When the firefight ended at around 5:00pm yesterday, I received a spot report from Balansi that three of his soldiers sustained minor wounds during the firefight. They were identified as Sergeant Agapito Avarquez, Private First Class Josel Sedrome and Private First Class Francisco Ligaten. ,” revealed LtCol Kiram Azgar Grajo, the Commanding Officer of the 2nd Scout Ranger Battalion which has administrative control of the 6th Scout Ranger Company.

Saret said that due to the heavy forest canopy, the rescue choppers failed to pick the slightly wounded soldiers up.

General Arturo Ortiz, the Commanding General of the Philippine Army has lauded the accomplishment of the Army soldiers. He praised the heroism of the soldiers in carrying out their mandated missions in support to the internal peace and security plan “Bayanihan”.

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