By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
Two New People’s Army (NPA) members were killed Friday evening following a gun battle with elements of the Philippine Army 62nd Infantry Battalion (62IB) in Guihulngan City’s Barangay Binobohan. Authorities identified the fatalities as Edgar Bonifacio and Randy Canumay, both residents of the said place and members of the NPA Special Partisan Unit (SPARU).
62IB commander, Army Lt. Colonel Egberto Dacoscos, said their unit, along with the 94th Infantry Battalion Alpha Company, were sent to the area after residents complained of harassment and extortion from the rebels.
As troops advanced, they were subject to gunfire from approximately 10 NPA insurgents, all of whom were also believed to be SPARU members.
The encounter lasted for at least 12 minutes until the rebels were forced to retreat, leaving behind their belongings and two fatalities.
Soldiers recovered two .45 caliber and one .38 caliber pistols from the two dead insurgents, along with ammunition and several subversive documents.
Following the incident, Dacoscos again urged insurgents to surrender as they will not stop hunting them down.
“Through the ‘whole-of nation approach,’ I am encouraging the people of Guihulngan City as well as the whole of Negros that it is now time we work together against the NPA,” he added.
62IB also dispatched additional forces to the area in order to prevent rebels from returning and conducting further atrocities./DGB, WDJ