BACOLOD CITY – More than 800 individuals were displaced following two separate clashes involving members of the New People’s Army and government forces in Barangay Oringao, Kabankalan City, Negros Occidental over the weekend.
Three NPA members were killed in the two clashes.
City Mayor Benjie Miranda posted on his Facebook account that 283 families or 822 individuals were temporarily sheltered at the barangay’s covered court, as of 5 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 5.
According to the Philippine Army, the first encounter erupted around 5 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 4, when policemen and members of the 94th Infantry Battalion (IB) responded to reports on alleged presence of unidentified armed men, reportedly conducting extortion and recruitment in the hinterland sitios of the said barangay. The firefight lasted for 20 minutes.
The following day, another firefight occurred while the troops were conducting pursuit operations against the NPA rebels around 8 a.m.
The second encounter resulted in the death of three rebels, according to the Army. No injuries were reported on the government side.
Recovered from the encounter site were an M14 Rifle with magazines and ammunition, a .45 caliber pistol with magazines and ammunition, and a .38 caliber pistol with ammunition, backpacks, other personal belongings, and subversive documents.
In a statement, Lt. Col. Van Donald Almonte, 94th IB commander, said the NPA rebels are fighting a losing war and their armed struggle is ending.