Lt. Gen. Noel Clement, Central Command chief, said the soldiers were conducting combat patrol when they encountered around 20 rebels in Barangay Beri.
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6 soldiers killed in Samar clash with Reds
Miriam Desacada, Jaime Laude (The Philippine Star) - April 24, 2019 - 12:00am

CATBALOGAN CITY, Philippines — Six soldiers were killed and six others were wounded in an encounter with New People’s Army (NPA) rebels in Calbiga, Samar before dawn yesterday.

The fatalities were identified as Cpls. Junurimban Mamalo Jr. and Edgar Abing, Pfcs. Arthur Garcia and Rufino Paster and Pvts. Danilo Constantino Jr. and Elben Lagrimas of the 46th Infantry Battalion (IB).

Lt. Gen. Noel Clement, Central Command chief, said the soldiers were conducting combat patrol when they encountered around 20 rebels in Barangay Beri.

Capt. Reynaldo Aragones, spokesman for the 8th Infantry Division (ID), said the fatalities were hit when the rebels detonated an improvised explosive device at the height of the fighting.

Although wounded, Aragones said the soldiers engaged rebels in a gunfight that lasted for almost four hours.

“The village where the fighting occurred was very remote. Our troops were at a very disadvantaged position... not to mention that it was still very dark,” he said.

Maj. Gen. Raul Farnacio, 8th ID commander, condemned the attack even as he warned communist rebels of intensified military operations in Eastern Visayas.

“Babawi kami, but we will remain strong and continue to uphold peace in the region,” Farnacio said.

Calbiga is among the areas in the Visayas where there is a strong presence of communist rebels.

The 8th ID has recorded nine NPA attacks since January.

2 rebels nabbed

Meanwhile, in Isabela, Solomon John Escopete, 40, and Danilo Estores, 45, of the NPA’s Giyang Pampulitika Isabela Central Front Committee were arrested in Barangay Diarao, Jones on Monday. 

Col. Mariano Rodriguez, Isabela police director, said the rebels yielded a caliber .38 revolver, an improvised explosive device, a hand grenade, five cell phones, a flash drive and subversive documents.

Police said residents sought police assistance when the suspects were seen bringing detonating cords to the house of a certain Junior. – With Raymund Catindig

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