6 NPA rebels slain in Negros clash

Gilbert Bayoran, Michael Punongbayan - The Philippine Star

BACOLOD CITY, Philippines — Six New People’s Army (NPA) rebels were killed an encounter with soldiers in Purok Lubi, Barangay Tabugon in Kabankalan City in Negros Occidental on Thursday.

Brig. Gen. Joey Escanillas, 302nd Infantry Brigade commander, said two of the fatalities are women.

Escanillas said soldiers belonging to the 47th Infantry Battalion (IB) responded to the reported presence of armed men in the area when they were fired at.

He said five of those killed were members of the NPA’s South West Front of the Komiteng Rehiyonal Negros/Cebu/Bohol/Siquijor.

Four caliber .45 pistols, a hand grenade, a caliber .38 revolver, medical paraphernalia and subversive documents of high intelligence value were among those reportedly recovered at the scene.

Escanillas said there was no casualty among government troopers.

Lt. Gen. Benedict Arevalo, Visayas Command chief, lauded the troops “for their untiring efforts and steadfast commitment” to end the insurgency problem in the country.

Early this month, six NPA members were killed in an encounter with members of the 47th IB in Bilar, Bohol.

“We are bent on ending the local communist armed conflict in the region the soonest possible time,” Arevalo said. ”We will not allow the Communist Party of the Philippines-NPA to use the upcoming electoral process as an avenue for their resurgence.”

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