By: Glazyl Y. Masculino
BACOLOD City – The Army’s 94th Infantry Battalion (IB) encountered about 20 suspected New People’s Army (NPA) at Sitio Cabangahan, Barangay Bantolinao, Manjuyod, Negros Oriental on Thursday.
The clash happened while military troopers were conducting combat operations past 2 p.m., following reports on the presence of NPA in the area.
No soldiers were hurt in the 40-minute fire fight, but the Army reported undetermined number of casualties on the rebel side based on the bloodstains left at the encounter site.
Military troopers also recovered some war materials such as an anti-personnel mine, parts (a bolt, a buffer spring and a charging handle) of an M16 rifle destroyed during the encounter, a handheld radio, a transistor radio, two cellular phones; electrical wire, seven kilos of rice, two backpacks, five hammocks, 10 “Ang Bayan” booklets, two t-shirts with PKP print, three ponchos, and a pair of slippers.
Brigadier General Benedict Arevalo, 303rd IBde commander, said he urged soldiers to relentlessly pursue the NPAs.
“I also encourage the people to continue to report the presence of NPAs in their communities in order for us to prevent their extortion and other terroristic activities,” he added.
The Army in Negros island is aggressively hunting down rebels since the Joint Task Force (JTF)-Negros, which primarily focuses on addressing the problem in insurgency, is targeting to dismantle rebel fronts in the island by the end of this year.