Army says one wounded ‘NPA rebel’ arrested
By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
The death toll in the gun battle between the personnel of the Philippine Army’s 62nd Infantry Battalion (62IB) and the suspected New People’s Army (NPA) rebels has climbed to 10.
3rd Infantry Division (3ID) spokesperson, Major Cenon Pancito III, said government troops scouring the encounter site in Sitio Agit, Barangay Trinidad in Guihulngan City, Negros Oriental have found two more remains.
The 62IB also found a wounded fighter hiding in one of the houses in the encounter site, leading to an arrest.
In a separate interview with 62IB spokesperson, Captain Raymund Jamisal, he said that they have launched an investigation against the owner of the house where the wounded NPA insurgent was sheltering.
He also confirmed that at least 68 families near the encounter site fled their homes, and they have already distributed food and medical supplies to the affected families.
Jamisal said they have not yet allowed the families to return to their homes as they are still finishing the clearing operation in the area.
He also confirmed that Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief of Staff General Cerilito Sobejana yesterday arrived in their base in Isabela town in Negros Occidental in order to personally congratulate the soldiers who were involved in the battle.
Earlier on Tuesday, the 62IB clashed with at least 40 alleged members of the NPA’s Sentro De Grabidad Platoon and the Samahang Yunit Propaganda Platoon Komiteng Rehiyon – Negros, Cebu, Bohol, and Siquijor in the said city which lasted for three hours.
Both the army and police recovered six M16 assault rifles, an M4 carbine, an M60 machine gun, a KG-9 machine pistol, and an improvised explosive device.
Government forces also recovered the personal belongings of the insurgents, subversive documents and documents which yielded “high intelligence value.”/DGB, WDJ