On 11:25 o’clock in the morning of April 21, 2018, 39IB initiated a Focused-Military Operation targeting the group believed to be members of Guerilla Front 51, Southern Mindanao Regional Committee who were found in the forested outskirts of Sitio Bayongon, Barangay Astorga, Sta Cruz, Davao del Sur.
One concerned citizen approached to the troops of 39th Infantry Battalion stationed at Barangay Tuban, Sta Cruz, Davao del Sur that there was a group of NPA Terrorists who planned to extort business sectors.
Responding to the information, the troops of 39 Infantry Battalion conducted combat operation and encountered undetermined numbers of NPAs under GF 51, SMRC at vic So Bayongon, Brgy Astorga, Sta Cruz, Davao del Sur.
The firefight resulted to the death of an NPA Terrorist, captivity of NPA Terrorist identified herself as Jessa Lumana, seizure of an M16 rifle, 3 improvised explosive devices, 2 rifle grenades, NDF and BHB Flags.
While on search and clearing operation, the troops responded to the call of a severely wounded NPA Terrorist. During interview, he revealed that his name was Julito Pueblas alias Taghoy. Unfortunately, he died before the troops can carry him to safety. Alias Taghoy was the Commanding Officer of Sentro de Grabidad, GF51, SMRC. Alias Taghoy is another NPA terrorist died in the firefight.
As observed by the troops, NPA terrorists are withdrawing from the firefight dragged away their several wounded fellow terrorists. As for the troops, Cpl Kenneth James Balicot was slightly wounded and was immediately provided with medical assistance by the troops.
“39IB will always response to any insurgence-related information. We thanked the concerned citizen and the Barangay Officials for the timely and accurate report about the presence of NPA Terrorists in their vicinity,” Lieutenant Colonel Rhojun Rosales, Commanding Officer of 39IB said.
1002nd Brigade Commander, Brigadier General Roberto Ancan said, “We are calling the NPA Terrorists who are still hiding to surrender peacefully in the folds of law, bring down your firearms and avail of the government programs intended for you. You deserve to live happily with your family.”
Meanwhile, Major General Noel Clement, Commander of 10th Infantry Division praised the troops’ accomplishment, “Our forces will continue on hunting down those remaining NPA Terrorists but will spare those who want to surrender,” he said.
“10ID remains steadfast in protecting the people and securing communities. The death of two NPA Terrorists and apprehension of a certain Jessa Lumana in the encounter site clearly manifest the ills of communist/terrorist ideology. Let us work hand in hand to end terrorism brought by CPP/NPA. Insurgency is everybody’s responsibility, your Army will always be your partner in sustaining peace and development and establishing conflict-resilient communities.” Major General Clement added.