3 ‘rebels’ killed, soldier, 2 civilians hurt Negros Oriental clash

Raffy T. Cabrisante (The Freeman) - May 2, 2020 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines —  Three suspected New People's Army (NPA) rebels were killed while a soldier and two civilians—including a minor—were wounded in a firefight in Sitio Namunduan, Barangay Camudlas in Bindoy town, Negros Oriental on Thursday.

Personnel of the Philippine Army's 94th Infantry Battalion and the Bindoy police were conducting a joint operation to verify reports of suspected NPA presence in the area, a military statement said.

The alleged communist rebels were allegedly extorting the residents of the said sitio, prompting authorities to investigate the reports.

A firefight ensued when one of the suspected NPA rebels suddenly opened fire at the government troops; the encounter lasted for 30 minutes.

According to the military, they have recovered the bodies of two killed rebels while they are still trying to retrieve the body of a third one, who reportedly fell off a ravine near the encounter site.

A soldier was wounded in his right hand during the encounter.

According to a separate report from the Negros Oriental Provincial Police Office (NORPPO), the government troops' civilian guide was also hurt, along with a minor who accidentally got caught in the crossfire.

Authorities also recovered a shotgun with bullets, two backpacks, a rifle grenade, and "subversive" documents from the encounter site.

Troops are still pursuing the alleged communist rebels as of press time.

This is the third time that government troops and suspected NPA rebels clashed as both provinces in Negros Island are under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

On April 19, three soldiers of the Philippine Army's 94th Infantry Battalion were also killed while four of their comrades were wounded during a clash with alleged communist rebels in Himamaylan City, Negros Occidental.

The soldiers were conducting security patrols in Barangay Carabalan of the city as personnel from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) were distributing cash aids to residents there under the Social Amelioration Program (SAP).

Another clash between the military and suspected NPA rebels also took place in Victorias City, also in Negros Occidental, on April 24.   KQD (FREEMAN)

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