Materials recovered during the operation. Encircled is the portable generator the NPA is using. (Photo courtesy of 3rd Marine Brigade)

Government troops overran late last week a sizeable encampment of the New People’s Army (NPA) in the rugged areas of Sitio Kapok, Barangay Iraan, Rizal, following an encounter with their armed members.

In a statement, Brigadier General Nestor C. Herico, commander of the Joint Task Force Peacock (JTFP) and the 3rd Marine Brigade (3MBde), said that prior to the implementation of the “enhanced community quarantine” on March 15, their series of intelligence gathering and monitoring reported sightings of a group of insurgents in the area.

Troops from the JTFP was deployed to verify a tip provided by concerned citizens and on March 13, it discovered a deserted encampment in Kapok.

The troops, led by 2Lt. Arnel P. Pangalina PN (M) of the Marine Battalion Landing Team-4 (MBLT-4), immediately conducted a thorough search and patrol of the surroundings of the encampment, and on March 14 encountered a group of 5 guerilla fighters in the same barangay.

The confrontation between the troops and the rebels, which lasted for around 5 minutes, resulted in the surrender of Mateo delos Angeles (@JEROME/@VERGEL/@ABEL/@ERIC), 21, a resident of Brgy. Baras, Taytay.

Delos Angeles is reportedly the medical officer of the Iskwad Buntot (Alpha) of the CTG-Palawan. He surrendered to the operating troops of the Marines at Sitio Manggahan, Iraan on March 16, 2020.

“The capture of the NPA camp was the result of the series of intelligence gathering and monitoring activities of the task force that took place in the area. Civilian cooperation to the CSP Team deployed in the neighboring communities was relevant in the collection of information that led to the discovery of the encampment and the surrender of one rebel,” Herico said.

The troops recovered 209 rounds of 5.56 ammunition, 1 portable generator, 5 pcs. magazines, medical kits, suspender belt, 1 piece cellular phone, 1 sack of rice, tents, hammocks, 2 backpacks with personal belongings and seditious evidence of rebel activities in the area.

Herico said their recovery of the portable generator is important as it will stop the rebels from generating subversive documents from the Bienvenido Vallever Command using their laptop and printer.

“We’re highlighting our recovery of the portable generator that the group is using to write treacherous and inflammatory documents and reading materials that they are using to deceive residents into abominating the local government units, the police, and the military,” Herico said.

Lt. Col. Prisco Tabo PN(M) (GSC), commanding officer of the Joint Task Group-South (JTG-South) and the MBLT-4, said Delos Angeles was recruited in the rebel organization by a certain “Lupit” in June 2018.

In a community “pulong-pulong” (assembly) on March 11, 2020, at the Headquarters of the JTG-South, a concerned citizen identified Delos Angeles as one of the two guerilla fighters who were captured in a video carrying a Beretta Cal.9mm pistol in Kapok.

The concerned citizen, who wants to remain anonymous, said Delos Angeles has been seen roaming around the Iraan area with his armed comrades.

The Palawan Task Force ELCAC has lauded the accomplishment of the Marines who never stopped in winning the peace in the province.