4 NPAs, soldier slain in Davao clash

Alexis Romero (The Philippine Star) - January 29, 2014 - 4:11pm

MANILA, Philippines - Four communist rebels and one Army soldier were killed in an encounter on Wednesday in Manay, Davao Oriental, the military said.

Armed Forces Eastern Mindanao Command spokesman Capt. Alberto Caber said the clash ensued at around 8:30 a.m. in Sitio Matabang in Barangay Taocanga.

Soldiers were sent to the area in the wake of reports on the presence of New People’s Army (NPA) members allegedly extorting money from local residents.

Three communist rebels and one soldier were immediately killed in the clash. Caber said the soldiers had provided first aid to a wounded rebel but efforts to save him failed.

Two M16 rifles, one AK-47, one M4 rifle, three landmines, one mobile phone and several documents were recovered from the insurgents.

Armed Forces Eastern Mindanao Command chief Lt. Gen. Ricardo Cruz III has asked his troops to continue working closely with their police counterparts to ensure the safety of the communities.

“Coordination among units for augmentation of forces is mandatory,” Cruz said.

Meanwhile, Army troops operating in Negros Island have apprehended a ranking member of an NPA regional committee.

Maj. Ray Tiongson, spokesman of the Army’s 3rd division, said Biboy Espinas was arrested last Tuesday at Barangay Carabalan in Himamaylan City, Negros Occidental.

Soldiers recovered a Cal .38 revolver with five live ammunition and subversive documents from the rebel.

Tiongson said Espinas is a ranking member of the NPA’s regional committee in Negros and has a standing arrest warrant for murder.

The rebel was brought to the local police station for medical check-up, documentation and filing of appropriate charges.

“With the apprehension of Espinas, the peace and order situation in Negros Occidental will be much better. The rule of law must always prevail,” said Brig. Gen. Francisco Patrimonio, chief of the Army’s 302nd Brigade.

ALBERTO CABER ARMED FORCES EASTERN MINDANAO COMMAND BARANGAY CARABALAN BARANGAY TAOCANGA BIBOY ESPINAS DAVAO ORIENTAL ESPINAS FRANCISCO PATRIMONIO HIMAMAYLAN CITY NEGROS OCCIDENTAL
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