December 6, 2022

Government troops have recovered firearms, medical items, and personal effects and supplies following the clashes with suspected New People’s Army rebels in Flora, Apayao on March 14.
In a report, 17th Infantry Battalion personnel, Marine Battalion Landing Team 10, and members of the Apayao Police Provincial Office had an encounter with members of the NPA at Barangay Mallig and in Sitio Tawini, Barangay Upper Atok, both in Flora.   
The military personnel were conducting combat operations at Barangay Mallig following the reports of residents that NPA rebels were conducting extortion activities in the community when they were fired upon by members of the terrorist group.
The NPA rebels retreated after the fire fight that lasted for more than 15 minutes, but they were tracked down at Sitio Tawini, Barangay Upper Atok where another clash occurred, forcing the rebels  to retreat in the mountainous area.
During the clearing operation, troopers recovered three M16A1 and 5.56mm M653 rifles along with medical items, documents, back packs, and other personal effects and supplies left by the rebels at their encampment area.
The 17IB said those involved in the fire fight were members of the West Front Committee, Komiteng Probinsya Cagayan, and Komiteng Rehiyon-Cagayan Valley.
Apayao PPO Director, Col. Peter Tagtag, said the encounter site is among the identified areas of the Task Force End Local Communist Armed Conflict in Apayao.
The local government unit of Flora has declared the CPP-NPA-NDF as persona non grata and also condemned the atrocities of the terrorist group in the municipality. 
Lt/Col. Angelo C. Saguiguit, commanding officer of the 17IB, thanked the community in Flora for informing authorities of the presence and the activities of the terrorists groups that led to the operation to stop the atrocities in the area.
“Ang mga pangyayaring may kaugnayan sa seguridad at katahimikan ng ating komunidad ay hindi lamang trabaho ng kasundaluhan at kapulisan bagkus ito ay nakaatang rin sa bawat mamamayan  dahil tayong lahat ay apektado sa anumang karahasan o kaguluhan na kanilang isasagawa sa ating mga komunidad. Nararapat lang na tayo’y magtulungan upang mapangalagaan at mabantayan natin ang katiwasayan sa ating mga lugar lalung-lalo na para sa ating mga anak. Sana ay magpatuloy ang ganitong pagtutulungan natin upang tuluyan ng mawasakan ang problema sa insurhensiya,” Saguitguit said. – Redjie M. Cawis