By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
Following a series of clashes with the New People’s Army (NPA), including a flare-up in Guihulngan City, Negros Oriental earlier this week, Philippine Army 3rd Infantry Brigade (3ID) commander, Major General Eric Vinoya, said military forces in Negros are now in control of the region’s operational pace and intensity.
The military official credited the “vigilance in cooperation” by local residents through providing accurate information on the whereabouts and activities of insurgent elements for their ability to dictate a favorable “operational tempo.”
He highlighted an incident last Friday where the 62nd Infantry Battalion (62IB) killed two NPA rebels.
“Aside from creating a favorable battleground for the government forces, the present operational tempo in Negros also brought positive results to Negrenses, specifically the victims of Communist-terrorist ruthlessness,” Vinoya explained. “With their neutralization, we are also expecting the dwindling of the Communist-terrorist group’s criminal activities in the area.”
“With the Negrenses on our side, we are optimistic that we can totally eradicate these terrorists in due time,” he added.
The two slain NPA insurgents were members of the Special Partisan Unit (SPARU).
Last week, the 62IB encountered NPA-SPARU rebels in Guihulngan City’s Barangay Binobohan. 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.
In response, NPA rebels conducted a “revenge attack” by ambushing a troop convoy belonging to the 94th Infantry Battalion. However, troops in convoy immediately took up defensive positions and successfully repelled the attack./DGB, WDJ