4 rebels slain in Sorsogon clash
Michael Punongbayan (The Philippine Star) - December 16, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Four suspected New People’s Army (NPA) guerrillas were killed in an encounter in Matnog, Sorsogon early yesterday morning.

Among the fatalities was Robert Estiller, who used the aliases “Cindy” and “Meo.”

Estiller was reportedly an official of the NPA’s Komiteng Probinsya 3-Bicol Regional Party Committee, which operates in the towns of Bulan, Castilla, Juban, Irosin, Magallanes and Matnog.

A combined team of the police and military was responding to reports about the presence of armed men in Barangay Tugas when they encountered the rebels at past 5 a.m., according to Maj. Ricky Anthony Aguilar, public information office chief of the Philippine Army’s 9th Infantry Division.

The firefight lasted an hour and a half before the rebels retreated in different directions, leaving their slain comrades behind.

No one was killed or wounded among the government forces.

The military recovered rifles and grenade launchers at the scene of the firefight.

The rebels were reportedly planning to extort from the villagers and launch attacks as part of the observance of the anniversary of the Communist Party of the Philippines on Dec. 26, Aguilar said.

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