CAMP LUKBAN, Catbalogan City — A joint task force (JTF) under the Central Command of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) launched airstrikes using supersonic jets on an encampment of the New People’s Army (NPA) in the hinterlands of Las Navas, Northern Samar early morning last Saturday.
Using the Philippine Air Force (PAF) supersonic FA-50 jets to conduct “surgical airstrikes” to deliver 500-pound bombs, the JTF surprised the group of more or less 50 NPA terrorists operating in Northern Samar led by Ceriaco Jerusalem alias Cado, according to a report of the 8th Infantry Division (ID).
The JTF Storm and the 8th ID under the command of Maj. Gen. Pio Q. Diñoso III orchestrated the joint operations “to locate and annihilate the said NPA group which had been monitored doing extortion” in different communities in Northern Samar.
“The AFP’s modernization efforts had been put to effective use and will continue to be employed in the neutralization of the Communist Terrorist Group in Eastern Visayas,” Diñoso said in a statement.
The military added that the “surgical airstrike” destroyed makeshift huts in the rebel camp and are currently doing a search and pursuit operations against the rebels, which are believed to have experienced heavy casualties based on bloodstains found along the path where they fled.
Among the items recovered were two anti-tank landmines, one roll of detonating wire, two sacks of land mines, two improvised grenades, assorted blasting caps, 13 live ammo for M16, four live ammo for shotgun and one empty magazine for carbine.