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Nation

Iloilo AFP-NPA clash death toll now 4

Michael Punongbayan, Jennifer Rendon - The Philippine Star

ILOILO CITY , Philippines — The body of another New People’s Army rebel was discovered as firefights between government troopers and NPA guerrillas in San Joaquin, Iloilo continued yesterday, bringing the death toll to four.

The body of Rena Rhea Camariosa, alias Kira, was found abandoned in a nipa hut in Barangay Camabaan, more than five kilometers away from the clash site in Barangay Torocadan, Brig. Gen. Michael Samson, 301st Infantry Brigade commander, said.

Alfred Sambayan, village chief of Barangay Camabaan, turned over a wounded NPA amazon identified as Rosel Esmediana of the Southern Front of the NPA’s Komiteng Rehiyon-Panay to the San Joaquin police.

Esmediana was brought to the San Joaquin Mother and Child Hospital for treatment.

Three NPA rebels were initially killed in encounters with government troopers in San Joaquin, which started on Wednesday.

Two of the fatalities were identified as Jeniel Estoque and Mario Reovoca.

Samson said members of the 61st Infantry Battalion also overran an NPA camp, which had 10 makeshift tents.

Pursuit operations for the fleeing rebels were ongoing in Barangay Roma yesterday morning.

The military said eight other NPA rebels have been killed in clashes in the Visayas in the past week.

Three were slain in encounters in Escalante City in Negros Occidental, five in Bohol and four in Panay from Feb. 21 to 27.

Thirty-two firearms were recovered from the fatalities.

“Our deliberate planning to end insurgency in Western and Central Visayas, especially in Negros, Bohol and Panay islands, has paid off,” Sison said. ”The effectiveness of our whole-of-government and whole-of-nation approach through the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict coupled with the support of the people has been instrumental in the remarkable achievements in our campaign to end the local communist armed conflict.”

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