Two ‘rebels’ killed in encounter with gov’t troops in Himamaylan, Negros Occidental
DUMAGUETE CITY, Negros Oriental – At least two suspected rebels were killed in a Sunday morning encounter between soldiers from the 31st Division Reconnaissance Company (31st DRC) of the 62nd Infantry Battalion (62nd IB) and at least 15 members of the New People’s Army (NPA) in Sitio Bugo, Barangay Buenavista, Himamaylan City, Negros Occidental.
The encounter happened a day after government troops discovered the presence of a NPA lair in Sitio Ulitao that is located in the same barangay.
The gun battle ensued for 30 minutes before the rebels started to withdraw towards the direction of Sitio Balatugan.
A statement released by the 303rd Brigade based in Camp Gerona, Murcia , Negros Occidental, this morning, October 6, said that soldiers killed at least two NPA members, but no one was lost from the government’s side.
Soldiers based their accounting of fatalities on the testimonies of nearby residents and the bloodstains they found in the area.
After scouring the encounter site, government troops recovered 45 rounds of ammunition for a M16 rifle, trip wires used in anti-personnel mine (IED), one backpack, one hammock, one poncho, a medical kit, medicines, two NPA sweatshirts, three pairs of rainboots, four pairs of rubber shoes, a pair of slippers, and a wallet.
“To our soldiers, let’s continue attacking these extortionist-terrorist NPAs before they attack us. Once again, I urge everyone to continue supporting government forces in order to prevent the NPAs from exploiting and victimizing the people,” said Brigadier General Benedict Arevalo, 303rd Infantry Brigade Commander.
As of this writing, government troops continue to pursue the fleeing rebels.
The Sunday morning encounter was the third this year that happened in Barangay Buenavista, Himamaylan, Negros Occidental and the 15th armed clash between soldiers under 303rd Brigade and rebel groups.
In an interview, Arevalo expressed confidence that the creation of the Joint Task Force-Negros ( JTF-Negros) under Brigadier General Eric Vinoya will soon lead to the wipeout of insurgents in the area.
“Tayo naman, we were consistent from the start . Of course with the presence of the JTF (Joint Task Force-Negros) mas lalo tayong ginaganahan. We also want to support our commander on his desire to engage some more itong mga kalaban natin, so this is a welcome development for us kasi hindi lang ako ang nagpu-push sa tropa natin. So, it’s a big boost sa atin na we have another General na inspiring and motivating us to do some more. It has an impact sa amin,” Arevalo added. / dcb
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