While conducting clearing operations prior to distributions of relief goods, a firefight occured between the Army's 81st Infantry (Spartan) Battalion against around 30 New People's Army terrorists at 3:30 p.m. on April 21, 2020 at Sitio Inuman, Barangay Patiacan, Quirino, Ilocos Sur.
There are no reported casualties on the government side, while casualties from the NPA bandits are yet to be determined.
After the encounter, the involved troops scoured the encounter site which revealed the area to be a hideout of the NPAs that can accomodate around 30 people.
Recovered from the NPA bandit's hideout were empty shells of M16 and M14 rifles, a rifle sling, eight tents, lunch boxes with newly cooked rice, six pairs of slippers and personal belongings.
According to the Colonel Audrey L. Pasia, Commander of the Army's 702nd Infantry Brigade that has direct jurisdiction over 81IB, all possible escape routes of the terrorist are now blocked, while pursuit operations are being conducted.
“It is only a matter of time, and we will surely catch up with these terrorists, just like in the past.”
“The NPA bandits are taking advantage of the crisis. Alam ng kalaban na hati ang atensyon ng Army with our other efforts to help government units and government agencies to prevent the spread of the COVID-19, and assist the people affected by the Enhanced Community Quarantine. They (the bandits) are monitored to be looking for supplies, which became scarce due to the current crisis. Hence, we have intensifed our security operations para mapigil ang anumang binabalak ng kanilang grupo to extort from our suffering people in far fung areas, like in Patiacan, Quirino, Ilocos Sur,” stated Brigadier General Alfredo V. Rosario, Jr. of the Army’s 7th Infantry (Kaugnay) Division.
Source: 7th Infantry (Kaugnay) Division, Philippine Army