By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
Just a week following the deadly clash between government forces and the New People’s Army (NPA) in Hinoba-an, Negros Occidental which resulted to the deaths of two insurgents, another clash erupted this time in the province’s Ilog town in which again resulted in two fatalities for the insurgent group.
Lt. Colonel Erwin Cariño, Philippine Army 15th Infantry Battalion (15IB) commander, said they have yet to identify the two insurgents they killed in the gun battle.
According to Cariño, last Saturday, April 24, the soldiers of the 15IB were conducting hot pursuit operations against the same NPA group they clashed with in Hinoba-an when they encountered them again in Sitio Payranan, Barangay Pinggot in Ilog.
The NPA group belonged to the Platoon 3 Southwest Front of Komiteng Rehiyon-Negros, Cebu, Bohol, Siquijor (KR-NCBS), the Army said. They believe the group consisted of 10 individuals.
The gun battle lasted for at least 40 minutes until the NPA insurgents retreated leaving behind two of their dead comrades, Cariño said, adding they believe several more were also wounded in the gun battle. The 15IB did not suffer any casualties.
Government troops recovered an M16 assault rifle, a .45 caliber pistol, a 12-gauge homemade shotgun, an anti-personnel mine, three short magazines, assorted live ammunition, subversive documents, and five backpacks.
Cariño added the latest encounter showed the declining influence of the rebels among the communities in Negros Occidental./DGB, WDJ