By Jennifer P. Rendon
Amid the heavy downpour of rain, troops from the Philippine Army’s 61st Infantry (Hunter) Battalion figured in an armed clash with suspected members of the New People’s Army at a hinterland village of Alimodian, Iloilo’s
The encounter resulted in the death of two suspected rebels, whose identities are yet to be confirmed.
In a press statement, the 301st Infantry Brigade said 61st IB personnel trudged Barangay Umingan, Alimodian after receiving reports of the presence of armed men in the area.
At around 12:00 noon on October 28, the soldiers spotted around nine fully-armed rebels.
A 15-minute firefight ensued that subsequently resulted in the death of the two rebels.
Lieutenant Colonel Harold Garcia, 61st IB commander, said that the rebels, who are believed to be members of the Sibat (SYP) Platoon of the NPA’s Southern Front, Komiteng Rehiyon-Panay, retreated towards the northeast portion of Alimodian town.
Aside from the two bodies, the troops also recovered two M16 arms kite rifles, four backpacks, a rifle grenade, a bandolier, five rifle magazines, a stethoscope and subversive documents.
Garcia said heavy bloodstains were also seen along the rebels’ withdrawal route.
“We believe there are rebels who suffered severe wounds,” he said.
He noted, though, that there were no casualties on the government side.
Meanwhile, Garcia lauded the residents in the area for “voluntarily providing timely and accurate information on the whereabouts of the rebels”
“We’re glad that there are concerned civilian stakeholders who do not allow NPAs to manipulate and deceive them anymore. With that, we can easily avert their hostile plans in the community,” he said.
Garcia also assured that the remaining NPAs will soon be dismantled with everyone’s cooperation.
Brigadier General Marion Sison, 301st IN commander, said that the successful operation was proof of the importance of the whole-of-nation approach, as embodied in Executive Order No. 70.
“With the contribution of each sector, particularly the crucial and significant role of the peace-loving people in ending the insurgency, the CPP-NPA-NDF will never win because the people themselves are leading the charge to eliminate violence and willingly support the peace and development initiative of the government,” he said.
Sison vowed to track the rebels, ” unless they yield peacefully.”
“They will be either caught or killed in the process. That’s why we urge the remaining CTGs to internalize and come to their realization to surrender now. The government is always here to help and assist you in bringing your life back to normal, safely and peacefully,” Sison said.