By Aaron Recuenco
Army troopers killed at least five communist rebels in a fierce clash in Calatrava town of Negros Occidental on Wednesday morning, the military said.
Lt. Col. Emelito Thaddeus Logan, commanding officer of 79th Infantry Battalion, said the clash also resulted in the wounding of three soldiers. Their wounds though are just slight.
Logan said the firefight erupted when his men chanced upon at least 30 communist rebels in Sitio, Puting Tubig in Barangay Minautok at around 5:30 a.m. on Wednesday.
“Even before the election period starts, the Army already monitored the presence of the NPAs coming from the reports of the local populace. Upon confirmation of the NPA location, a platoon was sent to conduct combat operations in the area,” said Logan.
The firefight, he said, lasted for about an hour after which the enemy scampered to different directions.
Seized at the crash site were a clip of eight bullets for a Garand rifle, three cellular phones, two power banks, a memory card, a sim card, a pair of boots, a hammock, a poncho, 10 kilos of rice, and spices used for cooking.
This is the second encounter in Calatrava this year since April 17 when the clash resulted in three rebels killed and two rifles recovered in Barangay Marcelo, according to Logan.