At least 18 soldiers under the 8th ID were killed and five were wounded in a series of tactical offensives by the New People’s Army (NPA) in Northern and Western Samar last June to August. Among those killed were five troopers of the 4th Scout Ranger Battalion (SRB), one of the “elite” forces most recently deployed in the region to “completely defeat” the people’s army.
According to Ka Karlos Manuel, spokesperson of NPA-Eastern Visayas (Efren Martires Command), “…these tactical offensives clearly negate the lies of 8th Infantry Division (ID) commander Maj. Gen. Camilo Ligayo that they have ‘smashed’ the ‘remnants’ of the NPA fighting fronts in the region.”
“Their claim that there is no tactical offensive launched by the NPA this year is more ridiculous.”, added Manuel.
According to the regional command, these tactical offensives are proof that the NPA in Eastern Visayas perseveres in fighting and frustrating the intensified attacks of the 8th ID against the revolutionary movement and the masses.
In Northern Samar, five consecutive harassment operations were conducted by the people’s army in Silvino Lobos and Las Navas. Five armed offensives were also launched by Red fighters in Matuguinao, Western Samar. Meanwhile, in Southern Leyte, the NPA-Leyte Island recently reported thwarting a raid by the 14th IB that took place in April and fascist retaliatory measures by the military unit in civilian communities. The NPA armed offensive killed two military agents and confiscated two .45 caliber pistols, and three cell phones. These operations were launched amid focused military operations of the 8th ID with hundreds of fascist troopers using advanced weaponry such as helicopters, drones and other high-tech military equipment.
In a related development in Mindanao, red fighters of the New People’s Army (NPA)-Sultan Kudarat disarmed Junior Martinez, a local despot and 57th IB agent, in Sityo Badiangan, on November 13. An M16 rifle, a shotgun, two pistols, a hand grenade, and a VHF radio were confiscated from him.
Martinez uses these weapons to terrorize the peasant masses in their area and grab their land. Martinez is supported by the 57th IB and actively colludes with soldiers.
On November 10, the NPA-Sultan Kudarat harassed the 37th IB detachment in Sityo Pangyen, Barangay Hinalaan, Kalamansig. The 37th IB soldiers are behind gambling, drinking, and causing trouble in the village. They harass and coerce residents repeatedly to “surrender.” Residents welcomed the NPA offensive against soldiers causing troubles in the area.
In Luzon island, the NPA-Quezon destroyed and burned to two dump trucks used by the quarry company in Unisan town on November 8. This was done to warn companies involved in environmentally destructive projects.