Capt. Cenon Pancito III, spokesman of the Army 3rd Infantry Division (ID), has yet to release the names of the casualties pending notification of their families.
Pancito said the first clash happened past 9 a.m. when soldiers encountered at least nine unidentified armed men while they were conducting military operations in response to reports that NPA rebels have been seen in the area.
The firefight lasted for about 10 minutes, killing and wounding two soldiers. Pancito said the wounded soldier is now in stable condition in a hospital.
After an hour, another firefight happened in the area, killing an NPA. Recovered in the encounter site were seven backpacks with personal belongings.
Pancito said they are coordinating with the local government unit and the local police to look for the family of the fatality.
He said they are also working out to provide decent burial for the rebel.
Pancito said they are conducting military operations to free the community from the influence of rebels, considering that the area has been reported as the final defense area of the NPAs.