Soldier dies in clash with Reds in Masbate – military

At a glance

  • An Army personnel died during an encounter with suspected communist rebels in Cawayan, Masbate on Monday, March 20.

  • The skirmish lasted for five minutes and there were traces of blood on the escape route of the rebels, according to a military officer.

  • Photo: Corporal Antonio Parreno Jr. / courtesy of 9th Infantry Division, Philippine Army

A Philippine Army (PA) personnel was killed when government troops encountered suspected communist rebels in Cawayan, Masbate on Monday, March 20.

A military report reaching Camp Aguinaldo identified the fallen soldier as Corporal Antonio Parreno Jr.

Maj. German Franco Roldan, officer in charge of the 9th Infantry Division's (9ID) public affairs office, said elements of the 2nd Infantry Battalion (2IB) conducted a security operation in Barangay Villahermosa after receiving a report that armed men were seen in the vicinity area of the village.

While scouring the area, the troops figured in an armed encounter with around 12 gunmen, Roldan said.

The firefight lasted for five minutes before the suspects fled, he noted.

Unfortunately, Parreno was hit by a fatal shot, according to Roldan, while traces of blood were seen along the escape route of the gunmen.

Meanwhile, Roldan said that the troops recovered an assault rifle, an improvised pellet gun, three cellphones, two anti-personnel mines, a binocular, two improvised explosive device (IEDs), four blasting caps, IED wires, and other personnel belongings of the suspects.

Maj. Gen. Adonis Bajao, commander of 9ID and Joint Task Force Bicolandia (JTFB), mourned the death of Parreno even as he vowed to deliver justice to the latter's death by hunting down the alleged rebels and putting them behind bars.

"Tinitiyak po ng JTFB na hindi masasayang ang pagbubuwis niya ng kanyang buhay. Dahil dito, magtutuloy-tuloy po ang operasyon ng ating mga tropa upang supilin ang CTG [communist terrorist group] lalo na dito sa Bicolandia (The JTFB assures that his death will not be in vain. We will sustain our operations to suppress the CTG especially here in Bicolandia)," Bajao said.