By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
The barangay council of Barangay Caningay in Negros Occidental’s Candoni town has given out aid to 14 families who were affected by the recent encounter between the Philippine Army’s 15th Infantry Battalion and insurgents from the New People’s Army (NPA).
Barangay Captain Edgardo Monserate said the Candoni Assistance Rescue and Emergency Services and the town’s Social Welfare and Development Office have handed out food and other basic necessities to the evacuated residents.
Monserate said they have been advised by the Philippine Army not to let the families return home yet as the area is still too dangerous.
In nearby Barangay Agboy, at least three more families have also fled their homes and are currently sheltering at the evacuation center. Twelve other families have also fled, although it was reported that they sheltered among their relatives or friends in the town’s unaffected areas.
In Barangay Balicotoc in Ilog town, they also recorded six families who also sought shelter in the evacuation center in Barangay Caningay.
The Philippine Army, meanwhile, has not released any new information over the encounter that took place.
However, they overran an alleged NPA lair in the area. It is believed that the NPA unit being engaged by government forces belong to the Southern Negros Front./DGB, WDJ