By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
Two alleged insurgents of the New People’s Army (NPA) were killed during an encounter with the Philippine Army’s 15th Infantry Battalion (15IB) at Barangay Yao-yao in Negros Occidental’s Cauayan town on Tuesday afternoon, November 7.
Authorities are yet to identify the fatalities, but reports indicated that they were alleged members of the NPA’s South West Front – Platoon 3.
In a statement, the 3rd Infantry Division (3ID) said troops from the 15IB were deployed to Sitio Cambaga following reports from residents that they had spotted several armed men, believed to be NPA members.
The armed insurgents were reported to be extorting and engaging in recruitment activities among the local populace.
A 10-minute encounter ensued with the 10-member NPA group at their encampment site, until they were forced to retreat.
The alleged rebels stumbled into another group of soldiers from the 15IB, prompting another gun battle, and resulting in the deaths of the two insurgents.
An M653 rifle, an M14 rifle along with several magazines, a caliber .45 pistol, an anti-personnel mine, assorted ammunition, medical kits, and personal belongings including subversive documents were recovered from the encounter site.
The 15IB believed that the alleged NPA unit was the same group they encountered with 47IB in Kabankalan City in September, which led to the deaths of six alleged NPA rebels.
Meanwhile, 15IB civil military officer, 1st Lt. Weann Sandag, in a radio interview, said they also received information about the insurgents’ presence in the area from four former NPA members who surrendered to government forces recently.
They managed to give the exact location where the insurgents were camping for almost a week.
Meanwhile, 3ID Commander Major General Marion Sison, congratulated the 302nd Infantry Brigade and the 15IB for their significant feat, adding that the NPA’s South West Front is nearly dismantled./DGB, WDJ