By Glazyl Y. Masculino
BACOLOD City – A member of the Army’s 79th Infantry Battalion (IB), and two suspected members of the New People’s Army (NPA) were killed in a clash at Hacienda Remunda, Barangay Kapitan Ramon, Silay City, Negros Occidental yesterday.
Major Cenon Pancito III, spokesperson of the 3rd Infantry Division (ID), refused to name the slain soldier as his family has yet to be informed.
Pancito said the clash happened while the military troopers responded to the reported sightings of NPA in the area.
“Parang nagkabulagaan during the strike operation kaya nagkaputukan,” he added.
Pancito said the soldiers clashed with around 10 unidentified fully armed men believed to be remnants of the Northern Negros Front (NNF).
Pancito said these remnants are not capable to do tactical offensives, as they shifted into recruitment and extortion activities, considering that the Army has already dismantled the NNF.
The 10-minute firefight left two rebels killed – a man and a woman, who were not yet identified.
Pancito said the wounded soldier expired in a hospital due to serious injuries.
Military authorities recovered an M16 with bandolier, a backpack, cellular phones, and hammock.
Pancito said that no evacuation was made, as the clash happened far from the residential area, although there were about three houses near the encounter site.
Clearing operation is ongoing.