Wounded soldiers identified; 4 NPAs killed in Negros clash
DUMAGUETE CITY, Negros Oriental — The two soldiers who were wounded in an encounter with members of the New People’s Army in Barangay Gawahon, Victorias City, Negros Occidental on Friday, April 24, 2020, have been identified.
This developed after Lieutenant Colonel Gerard Alvaran, 79th Infantry Battalion (79th IB) commanding officer, said that during hot pursuit operation after the 30-minute firefight, they saw four NPAs dead, who were dragged by their comrades, and several others wounded.
Meanwhile, the two wounded solders are Corporal Ramy Chiefe and Corporal Louie Maghanoy.
Alvaran said in a statement that the soldiers together with the 6th Special Action Force Battalion of the Philippine National Police (PNP) clashed with an undetermined number of NPAs as the the soldiers were conducting information dissemination to the communities about coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.
Aside from that, Alvaran said they were also in the area to check on the complaints of concerned citizens there about the presence and alleged extortion activities of the rebels.
While securing the area, the NPAs allegedly fired at the troopers, forcing them to return fire.
In a separate interview, Colonel Inocencio Pasaporte, 303rd Infantry Brigade commander, said the hot pursuit resulted in the discovery of temporary harbor areas of the NPAs and the recovery of assorted war materials.
Recovered were two improvised explosive device (IED), two blasting caps, a bandolier with five AK47 magazines and ammunition, and a bandolier with two M16 magazines and ammunition.
Aside from that, they also recovered five hammocks, two civilian bag packs with clothes, eight blankets, 10 black poncho, assorted medicines, three boots, three pairs of shoes, three USBs, one binocular, one transistor radio, two handheld radios (baofeng) with charger, two cellular phones, one compass, four jungle packs, subversive documents and personal belongings.
Alvaran said during the conduct of pursuit operation, the NPAs were seen dragging four casualties.
Bloodstains were also seen along their route of withdrawal.
“The NPA terrorist group were about to explode an IED as it is proven on the recovered items, and this indicates a violation against the humanitarian law. There were undetermined numbers of casualties on enemy side due to heavy bloodstain on the enemy routes of withdrawal,” Alvaran added.
The joint AFP-PNP troops were on information dissemination operations days after assisting the distribution of Social Amelioration Program (SAP) of the DSWD to support the affected families due to COVID-19 pandemic in Brgy V, Brgy XIX, Brgy XIX-A, Brgy Villa Victorias and Brgy Canetown in Victorias City since April 19, 2020.
“The troops were putting their own lives at risk on helping the people away from the spread of COVID-19 virus while the Communist terrorists take opportunity to violate human rights amid the crisis. With this, we will heighten security operations to capture the NPA terrorist and stop them from sowing fear in the communities,” Alvaran said.
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