The conflict between the government and the National Peoples Army (NPA) has been a threat to the residents and the Indigenous People living in the mountain range in Palawan. Some reports show that some of the NPA recruits people for their rebellious acts and takes advantage of the people, most likely the Filipinos’ who stay in remote areas, are often visited by the NPA’s.
On Friday morning, April 9, a fight against rebel and Philippine Marine Battalion Landing Team-3 occured in Barangay Concepcion, Puerto Princesa City. The encounter lasted for only a few seconds, and then they retreated.
The rebel who was killed during the encounter was an 18-year-old named Raul Reguma or named alias “Jerico, Raymond, and Alap-apin.” He is identified by his mother, who was residing in the Municipality of Narra. She claimed his dead body and said that his real name is Abdul Amin.
3rd Marine Brigade commander Col. Jimmy Larida said that Reguma was not on the wanted lists of the Provincial Task Force’s released lists to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (PTF ELCAC) but has involvement reports.
“Hindi siya kasama sa nilabas na wanted list. Pero kung i-update ‘yon ay makakasama siya. Lumabas ang name niya noong 2020 na, eh. May mga revelation na regular na siyang kasama ng grupo,” Larida explained.
“Nakakalungkot na kailangan umabot sa ganito ang pangyayari, but your Philippine Marines is also exerting effort para sa kampanya laban sa terorismo. It just happened na umabot sa ganito, hindi na sumuko,” he added.
After the firefight between the Philippine Marine and NPA, the Indigenous People Mandatory Representative of Batak Tribe Rustico Mauricio asked for help for the evacuation and their advice from their Barangay Captain Job Francisco.
There are 56 Families rescued from Sitio Tagnaya, and half of the families belong to the Batak Tribe. They have been provided with rice, canned goods, and other food supplies by the government and will temporarily stay at the Batak center for safety.
The Western Command Commander Vice Admiral Ramil Roberto Enriquez was thankful for the community, which has helped them succeed in their successful military operation.
“I am proud of our Community Support Program (CSP) teams in the area. The effectiveness of their efforts in defending the communities from terrorist infiltration and clearing the communities from the enemy’s affectation has protected them from being vulnerable to enemy deception and unlawful activities. Our operations are relentless, and so we urge once again the remaining communist terrorists to put their arms down, to return to the fold of the law, and to be reintegrated into mainstream society so that they can have better lives. If they won’t, we will hunt them down, and they will have to face the awful price of their terroristic acts and see their lives put to waste,” Enriquez said.
The Philippine government has been implementing programs for the ex-rebels in Palawan and encourages others to surrender.