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Soldier, 2 NPA rebels slain in Agusan clash

Ben Serrano - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — A soldier and two New People’s Army (NPA) rebels were killed in an encounter in Barangay Villa Undayon in Bayugan, Agusan del Sur on Tuesday.

Brig. Gen. Allan Hambala, 401st Infantry Brigade commander, identified the slain government trooper as Sgt. Emerson Paraoan.

The military said the fatalities on the side of the rebels belonged to the NPA’s Northeastern Mindanao Regional Committee.

Three high-powered firearms were recovered at the scene.

In Samar, police are investigating the killing of three persons, two of them barangay officials, in alleged NPA attacks on Saturday.

Carlito Pacayra, 37, chairman of Barangay Canlobo in Pinabacdao town, and his unidentified companion were declared dead on arrival at the town’s rural health unit.

In Barangay Nawi in Paranas, barangay councilman Sammy Bersola was shot dead by suspected NPA guerrillas.

A police report said the victims were participants of the local government’s Task Force to End Local Communists Armed Conflict.

Meanwhile, Army chief Lt. Gen. Andres Centino assured delegates of the International Committee of the Red Cross that soldiers respect laws on human rights in their combat operations.

He said the military adheres to the International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights Law in dealing with local threat groups.

The military said NPA rebels violate such laws by still using landmines and recruiting minors as combatants. – Miriam Desacada, Michael Punongbayan

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