(Eagle News) – Three members of the New People’s Army were killed in an encounter between the 79th Infantry Battalion and the communist rebels in Barangay Marcelo, Calatrava in Negros Occidental on Wednesday, April 17.
Col. Emelito Thaddeus Logan, commander of the 79th Infantry Battalion (79IB), said in a statement on Thursday, April 18, that a soldier was also slightly injured in the encounter. He is now in a stable condition.
The bodies of the three NPA members who were killed were seen in a photo posted by the 79th IB in their Facebook page.
The military said that the encounter occurred at around 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday.
Logan said that after receiving complaints from concerned residents in the area about extortion activities of the NPA rebels in the area, he immediately sent a platoon for security patrol at Bgy. Marcelo in Calatrava town.
While on patrol in the vicinity of Sitio Banwa Minatay, at least 12 NPA rebels fired upon the troops forcing the soldiers to return fire.
The firefight lasted for about 30 minutes. The NPA rebels then withdrew and escaped in different directions.
The military found the three bodies of the NPA rebels killed in the encounter which they immediately turned over to the Philippine National Police and the local government unit of Calatrava “for their identification” and processing.
-Local communities tired of NPA’s extortion-
“The encounter in the area, is a clear manifestation that the communities were tired of the extortions made by the NPAs and no longer want to be deceived. The communities are awake from the truth of the NPAs deception and lies,” Logan said in a statement.
He said that the local communities themselves are giving reports about the activities of the NPA rebels to the authorities.
“The communities are now doing their part to solve the insurgency problem in northern Negros by giving reports on the activities of the NPA,” he said.
“The 79IB will continue to persuade the communist terrorists to prevent their recruitment and armed struggle and avail themselves of the government’s reintegration program. But if they refuse to return to the folds of law, we will not be tired to launch combat operations,” Logan, the commander of the 79IB, said.
The military recovered one AK 47 rifle, one M16 rifle, seven AK47 magazines with live ammunitions, five M16 magazines with live ammunitions, four M14 magazines with live ammunition, three rifle grenades, two handheld radios, back packs, personal belongings and subversive documents with high intelligence value.
(Eagle News Service)