(PAGASA 24-HOUR PUBLIC WEATHER FORECAST as of Wednesday, 21 February 2024) Easterlies affecting the eastern section of the country. Butuan City, Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Dinagat Islands, Surigao del Norte and Surigao del Sur will experience Partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated rainshowers or thunderstorms due to Easterlies / Localized Thunderstorms. Possible flash floods or landslides during severe thunderstorms. Light to Moderate winds coming from East to Northeast will prevail with Slight to Moderate seas (0.6 to 2.5 meters).

Thursday, 18 January 2024

Army clashes NPA, recovers high-powered firearms, one dead

BUENAVISTA, Agusan del Norte -- Three high-powered firearms were recovered, while one dead New People’s Army (NPA) was left by his comrades as operating troops of 23rd Infantry (Masigasig) Battalion clashed with the Communist Part of the Philippines -NPA Terrorists (CNTs) under PLTN 2, SRSDG SAGAY, SRC 3, NCMRC in the hinter area of Sitio Calaitan, Brgy. Simbalan, Buenavista, Agusan del Norte on 16 January 2024.

With the information given by concerned residents regarding the whereabouts of the CNTs, the troops of 23IB, under the supervision of Lt. Col. Jeffrey P. Balingao, commanding officer, immediately responded to prevent said terrorist group from conducting extortions and probable atrocities in the area which resulted in an armed encounter.

The encounter lasted for about 10 minutes, after which the CNTs scampered into different directions leaving behind one dead CTG member along with two M16 rifles, one cal .30 carbine, personal belongings and subversive documents. Heavy bloodstains were observed along their withdrawal route believed to be from the wounded rebels.

According to Lt. Col. Balingao, this encounter served as a tactical engagement of the 23IB operating troops against the NPA terrorists in the area.

"This operation is part of our relentless effort to end the local communist armed conflict in our area of operation. As we gained significant results against these terrorist NPAs, we will continue with our pursuit operations against the fleeing terrorists. With the continuous support of the local residents in the area, I am confident that our troops can deter them from conducting further terrorist activities and finally pin them down," Balingao said.

Brigadier General Adonis Ariel G Orio, commander of 402nd (Stingers) Infantry Brigade, on the other hand, highlighted that the successful security operation of the 23IB as a product of the combined efforts of the troops with former NPA members that already surrendered and who continuously provide important information about their former comrade's hideouts.

"This is how sincere we are in our effort to end this communist-driven local insurgency. As long as the people of Agusan del Norte continue to support us in all our peace initiatives, these accomplishments are always possible. Let us altogether end this menace in our society," BGen. Orio added.

This proactive and resolute response by the 23IB underscored their unwavering commitment in safeguarding the security and well-being of the municipality of Buenavista and other areas in its area of operation. It served as a testament to the unwavering dedication of our military forces, who willingly put their lives on the line to maintain peace and order in our communities. (23rd Infantry Battalion, PA/PIA-Agusan del Norte)