Encounter in Negros Occ. town: 2 soldiers dead, 4 others wounded

By: Mae Fhel Gom-os - Multimedia Reporter - CDN Digital | November 04,2021 - 09:14 PM

ENCOUNTER IN MOISES PADILLA TOWN ENDED WITH 2 SOLDIERS DEAD, 4 WOUNDED. In photo is Moises Padilla town is seen in this Google Map.

MANDAUE CITY, CEBU, Philippines — Two soldiers were killed while four other soldiers were wounded during an armed encounter with at least 20 members of the New People’s Army (NPA) in Sitio Tiyos, Barangay Quintin, Moises Padilla town in Negros Occidental on Wednesday afternoon, November 3.

Despite the deaths of two soldiers, Major General Benedict Arevalo, 3rd Infantry Division commander, still considered the joint operation a success because they had foiled attempts of the NPAs to stage attacks and engage in extortion activities in the area.

“As I direct our troops to conduct relentless military operations against these terrorists, I encourage all Negrenses to join our fight against this terrorist group by continue providing information about their plans and activities and further preventing them from casting more terror,” Arevalo said.

Captain Kim Apitong, officer in charge of the 3rd Division Public Affairs Office, said many were also wounded on the NPA side after they saw several NPAs dragging their wounded comrades with them as they fled from the area of the encounter.

Apitong said they, however, could not say how many were wounded or dead on the side of the terrorists, who were estimated to be from 20 to 25 people.

According to a military report, the soldiers from the 62nd Infantry (Unifier) Batallion and the 79th  Infantry (Masaligan) Batallion conducted a joint operation at the border of Moises Padilla to verify a report about the presence of armed men in the area and the NPAs plan to collect and allegedly extort from people passing along the farm-to-market road in Guihulngan City in Negros Oriental.

Guihulngan is a neighboring city of Moises Padilla town with one of the borders of Guihulngan City, Negros Oriental being the border of Moises Padilla town, Negros Occidental.

The rebels planned to stage attacks and extort money along the ongoing Hilaitan-Trinidad Farm to Market Road in Guihulngan City, which is a road project that has been 90 percent complete, said Apitong.

He also said that this project was being constantly secured by the government forces.

“The presence of NPA terrorists in Brgy. Quintin Remo, Moises Padilla, Negros Occidental aims to stage attack, conduct their extortion scheme and regain their masses in the area,” the report said.

While having a firefight since 3:40 p.m. or about an hour in the area, the troops reportedly encountered more or less 25 rebels.

“The encounter resulted in to two soldiers’ death and the wounding of four others who are now in stable condition. They were immediately evacuated to Visayas Command by Black Hawk Helicopters of the Philippine Air Force,” it added.

But as of press time, the Philippine Army has yet to name the troops who died and those who were injured during the encounter, pending notification of their immediate families.

Apitong also said that the rebels reportedly suffered several losses for the day, citing that the rebels were seen dragging away at least four of their comrades as they withdrew from the fight.

“Heavy bloodstains were seen on their withdrawal route as pursuing units continued to hunt the terrorist group in the southwest direction,” it said.

About 4:30 p.m., at least seven withdrawing rebels heading towards the east direction were also seen by the blocking forces.

Recovered from the encounter site were three backpacks, two mobile phones, ammunitions, four large cooking pots, as well as other various belongings and supplies.

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TAGS: CPP-NPA, Negros Occidental encounter, New People's Army, NPA, Philippine Army

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