Soldier killed, one wounded in PH Army’s encounter with NPA rebels in Apayao

Published August 18, 2022, 8:57 PM

by Comanda Rizaldy C.

LUNA, Apayao – A soldier was reported killed while another was wounded during the Philippine Army’s encounter with the Communist Terrorist Group (CTG) on Thursday afternoon, Aug. 18, at the boundary of Conner and Cabugao towns in this province.

Col. Reynaldo Ogay, provincial director of the Apayao Provincial Police Office, said that 15 personnel of the Scout Platoon of the 98th Infantry Battalion in the 5th Infantry Division of the Philippine Army were conducting a Focused Military Operation (FMO) under 2Lt. Dimallanes.

Upon reaching the boundaries of Barangay Katablangan in Conner and Sitio Banan in Barangay Lenneng, Kabugao town at around 12:50 in the afternoon, the government soldiers chanced upon 15 armed members of CTG under Kilusang Larangang Gerilya North Abra.

An exchange of gun fires erupted, resulting in the killing of a soldier identified as Private First Class James Fontanilla, Jr., and the wounding of Dimallanes.

It is not yet known if anyone was killed or injured among the rebels who quickly escaped to the mountains of Conner, Apayao.

The government soldiers continued their manhunt operation after the brief gun battle, and Ogay immediately alerted the police on the possibility that the fleeing rebels might pass in the towns of the province.