By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
Several insurgents from the New People’s Army (NPA) were believed to have either been wounded or killed after they clashed with elements of the 15th Infantry Battalion (15IB) of the Philippine Army at Sitio Guinubatan in Candoni town’s Barangay Caningay yesterday.
As of press time, both the 15IB and NPA are still fighting in the said area.
Candoni police chief Major Junjie Liba said the clash in the area started around 5:30 a.m.
As the hours go by and as the gun battle continued, Liba said they had reports that the NPA had suffered several casualties and were already evacuating their wounded out of the town.
The report prompted Liba to immediately order the town police to immediately set up checkpoints in the town’s entry and exit points in order to block the insurgents from escaping.
Philippine Army 302nd Infantry Brigade commander, Colonel Leonardo Peña, meanwhile, said they estimated around two to three NPA rebels were killed in the fight based on initial information received from the 15IB.
Peña added that the soldiers of the 15IB are still pursuing the remaining rebels in the area, and as of press time, the government forces did not suffer any casualties of their own in the battle.
The police force in the southern part of Negros Occidental have been placed on heightened alert against the rebels./DGB, WDJ