Five NPA rebels killed in Abra encounter
Alexis Romero (The Philippine Star) - September 4, 2014 - 4:35pm

MANILA, Philippines — Five communist rebels were killed in a clash with Army troops in Lacub, Abra, the military said Thursday.

Maj. Calixto Cadano Jr., spokesman of the Army's 5th division, said the firefight started when members of the 41st battalion chanced upon the rebels in Barangay Guinguinabang Thursday morning.

The gun battle resulted in the death of five New People's Army (NPA) members and the recovery of eight high-powered firearms. Cadano said there were no casualties on the side of the Army troops.

Maj. Emmanuel Garcia, chief of the Armed Forces 1st Civil Relations Group, said among the NPA members who were killed was Arnold Jaramillo, secretary of the rebels’ local political committee.

Lt. Col. Virgilio Noora, chief of the 41st Infantry Battalion, said NPA members had been collecting money and food from locals before the encounter took place.

"The barangay folks said that the NPA (rebels) who are extorting from them are not from Abra but from other areas that's why the people are distrustful of them," Noora said in a statement.

There are about 4,000 NPA rebels in the country, based on latest military estimates. The figure has not changed significantly in the last few years despite the military's claims that insurgency in the country is already weakening.

RELATED: Noy urged to pursue peace talks with NPA

ABRA ARMED FORCES ARNOLD JARAMILLO BARANGAY GUINGUINABANG THURSDAY CALIXTO CADANO JR. CIVIL RELATIONS GROUP EMMANUEL GARCIA INFANTRY BATTALION MAJ NEW PEOPLE NPA
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