- GILBERT BAYORAN
The series of armed skirmishes in Binalbagan, Isabela, and Escalante, all in Negros Occidental Thursday, April 20, led to the killing of two members of the New People’s Army, and the wounding of two soldiers.
Col. Orlando Edralin, 303rd Infantry Brigade commander, said the first encounter took place between 15 NPA members and 62nd Infantry Battalion personnel, that started at about 2:30 a.m. this morning, in Brgy. Camang Camang, Isabela.
Two more encounters ensued in Brgy. Santol, Binalbagan, as the 94th Infantry Battalion joined the 62IB in the pursuit operations, Edralin said.
The identity of the slain rebel has not been established while pursuit operations against the fleeing rebels are still underway, as of this time.
Another NPA member also died in an encounter in Escalante City while two soldiers of the 79th Infantry Battalion were injured in the gun-battle.
Recovered at the encounter site were the cadaver of the slain rebel, an M14 assault rifle, three rifle grenades, and three more 40mm grenade launcher ammunition.
The latest clashes took place two days after an encounter in Brgy. Quintin Remo, Moises Padilla that claimed the life of rebel leader Jose Albores, a member of the Leonardo Panaligan Command, who led a “kangaroo court” that is responsible for conviction and eventual deaths of numerous civilians tagged by the NPA as military informants in central Negros.
Recovered at the encounter site were a KG9 automatic assault pistol, a hand grenade, and personal belongings.
In a statement, Maj. Gen. Marion Sison, 3rd Infantry Division commander, commended the 62IB for relentless anti-insurgency efforts that resulted in the successful combat operations in central Negros.
There were reports that the rebels encountered by the Army soldiers have plans to attack a detachment in Brgy. Cansolongon, Isabela./GB