BACOLOD CITY — Three suspected members of the New People’s Army (NPA) were killed, while four others, including a policeman, and an alleged NPA leader were wounded in an encounter with the Philippine National Police (PNP) – 6th Special Action Force Battalion (6SAB) at Barangay Tabu, Ilog, Negros Occidental on Tuesday morning.
Police Lt. Col. Ryan Manongdo, 6SAB commander, said the firefight lasted for about an hour, but no civilians were affected, as the encounter site is far from the houses.
Manongdo did not elaborate further on how the clash occurred, as it could jeopardized their operation, but stressed it was a “legitimate operation.”
Manongdo said the three wounded suspected NPA rebels, including their alleged leader were given first aid by the police combat medics and were guarded while waiting for them to be transported.
Manongdo said a member of the 6SAB suffered minor injuries in his chest after his vest was hit during the firefight. That cop, however, has rejoined his colleagues in the clearing operation.
Authorities initially recovered four M16 rifles.
Manongdo said nine individuals who were suspected to have links with the NPA after they were caught at the adjacent area near the encounter site were also held for questioning.
“We’ll check if they have arrest warrants,” said Manongdo.
Manongdo said the 2nd Negros Occidental Provincial Mobile Force Company, and the Army’s 15th Infantry Battalion (IB) augmented the 6SAB as clearing operation is ongoing.