By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
The Philippine Army soldier killed following a recent gun battle with New People’s Army (NPA) insurgents in Himamaylan City’s Barangay Buenavista has been identified. Based on information forwarded by the 62nd Infantry Battalion (62IB), the fatality was revealed to be Private First Class Joel Fariñas, while the two wounded were named as Sergeant Froilan Tosalem and Corporal Oliver Porten.
A follow-up search by government forces yielded several units of ammunition, gun parts, and an electrical wire used for anti-personnel improvised explosive devices. 62IB also forwarded a copy of an extortion letter signed NPA-Regional Taxation Group leader Armando Magbanua.
Last Thursday, 62IB commander, Lt. Colonel Igberto Dacoscos, said he sent soldiers to the area of Barangay Buenavista after receiving complaints from local residents of the NPA’s presence.
As they were patrolling the area, the soldiers encountered 20 NPA insurgents, which prompted a gun battle.
Dacoscos said three NPA insurgents were killed in the battle, with numerous more believed to be wounded.
The conflict was the 12th recorded this year under the jurisdiction of the 303rd Infantry Brigade./DGB, WDJ