By Glazyl Masculino
BACOLOD CITY – Two persons believed to be members of the New People’s Army (NPA) were killed, while a soldier was wounded, in a clash in Sitio Namunduan, Barangay Cambudlas, Bindoy, Negros Oriental on Thursday.
Based on a report of the 303rd Infantry Brigade (IBde), troops of the 94th Infantry Battalion (94th IB) and personnel of the Bindoy Municipal Police Station were on their way back to their base after conducting community security patrol when they received reports from the local community about the presence of NPA rebels allegedly extorting from residents in the barangay despite the hardships they were encountering because of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) crisis.
When they responded to the reports, the NPA allegedly fired upon the government forces, which resulted in a 30-minute firefight
Initially, three suspected rebels were killed, but according to Maj. Franco Ver Lopez, Civil Military Operations (CMO) officer of 303rd IBde, they were still trying to search for the body of a third casualty.
Lopez said a soldier sustained a wound on his right hand.
He also said that they were still verifying if a civilian was also wounded in the clash, after some photos showing an injured man, circulated on social media that day.
Authorities recovered from the encounter site a shotgun with live ammunition, a bandolier with magazines and live ammunition, two backpacks, a rifle grenade, six pairs of rain boots, medical supplies and paraphernalias, subversive documents, and other personal belongings.
Meanwhile, Col. Inocencio Pasaporte, 303rd IBde commander, said that “this clearly shows that the terrorist NPAs are unwanted and despised in the communities, especially by the populace who reported their presence. The populace is doing its part to make their communities peaceful and free from NPA influence”.
Pasaporte urged the people of Bindoy, as well as the whole people of Negros Island, to continue reporting the presence of NPA in their communities to prevent their extortion and other terroristic activities in the area.
“We will be pursuing them relentlessly to maintain and preserve the peace and security in Negros Island,” he said.