LOPE DE VEGA, Northern Samar, Nov. 18 (PIA) -– Government security forces recently discovered a newly abandoned NPA camp at Barangay Cal-igang, Catarman, Northern Samar.
Lieutenant Colonel Noel A. Vestuir, commanding officer of the 20th Infantry Batallion of the 8th Infantry Division of the Philippine Army, in his report to 803rd Brigade Commander, Colonel Oscar Lopez, said the camp was seized by the troops of 3rd Regional Public Safety Mobile Company under Police Inspector Shyrile Tan which has been placed under Tactical Control to 20IB.
Vestuir said that the at around 1:45 in the afternoon on November 14, the government forces discovered the camp which has fourteen (14) bunkers that can accommodate more or less twenty communist terrorists. The troops also recovered one empty bandolier, ammunition pouch and dry cell batteries.
The report stated that the camp has just been abandoned by the NPA as they evaded armed engagement with the operating troops. The 20IB launched sustained combat operations in the area of Catarman in response to the series of killing incidents perpetrated by the communist terrorists early that week.
According to Vestuir, a certain Allan Martinez, was forcibly abducted and shot to death by six (6) unidentified men in his residence at Barangay Cal-Igang, Catarman, Northern Samar at around 7:40 in the morning of November 10, 2011.
Relatively, at around 8:15 in the evening of same day, another killing was allegedly perpetrated by the communists at Barangay New Rizal also of Catarman wherein a certain Romeo Salazar Lovino was forcibly taken and shot several times that resulted to his death.
“The series of recent killings perpetrated by the NPAs in the area of Catarman is again a ploy of the communist terrorists to instill fear among the peace loving people as their means of getting their support which is in consonance to the Maoist dictum of “kill one to terrorize one thousand,” Vestuir said.
He added that the said liquidations are another trickery to the PNP and military. Once the government troops react, the NPA would have established ambuscades along the route similar to what they did at Barangay Imelda last year when they set landmines that killed the responding PNP personnel.
Vestuir, who was the 8th ID spokesman prior to his current assignment, lauded his troops particularly the PNP for a job well done and further commended the collaborative efforts between the PNP and the Philippine Army.