Army suffers major casualties in encounter with NPA in Negros Occ

Published May 14, 2018, 4:47 PM

by iManila Developer

By Mark Garcia

Two soldiers were killed, while eight others were wounded in an hour-long encounter between Army troops and suspected New People’s Army (NPA) terrorists, Saturday, in a hinterland village of Kabankalan City in Negros Occidental.

Guerrilas from the New People's Army in formation during the 49th anniversary of the communist rebel in Seirra Madrid mountains. President Duterte ordered a stop to peace talks between the communist rebels and has been labelled them as terrorist following recent attacks on the Agovernment force.The NPA claims that the government is using campaign against illegal drugs, terrorism and declaration of martial law in Mindanao as a tool to commit a human right violations.(Czar Dancel / MANILA BULLETIN)

More than 230 local residents also left their homes and fled for their safety in the deadly clash that broke out in Barangay Tan-awan, just two days before the village and youth elections.

Killed were Sgt. Sandy Arevalo and PFC Vicente Marcon, while those wounded were Sgt. Sandy Arevalo, and PFCs Michael Besana, Voltair Catamin, Angelito Bariga, Kenneth Cerbo, Ryan Las Pinas, Joven Taghap and John Daryle Delgado.

Government forces are still pursuing the NPA rebels, even as the City Social Welfare and Development Office is now attending to the basic needs of the displaced families from seven hinterland sitios of Barangay Tan-awan as ordered by Mayor Isidro Zayco, Kabanakalan police chief Supt. Rhea Santos said.

Capt. Ruel Llanes, 303rd Infantry Brigade Civil Military Operations officer, said that the wounded soldiers are now in stable condition, and are being treated at a military hospital in Jamindan, Capiz.

He reported that the 62nd Infantry Battalion soldiers were conducting clearing and combat operations, when they figured in a chance engagement with about 60 NPA rebels, that led to an hour-long gunbattle.

The Communists encountered by 62IB troopers were also responsible for the burning of heavy equipment and construction materials belonging to a private firm, which has a project with the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) to construct a dam in Sitio Badian, also in Barangay Tan-awan, according to Llanes.

The NPA had earlier claimed responsibility for torching of the equipment which resulted in an estimated P6.8 million-damage, according to the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP).