BACOLOD CITY – A New People’s Army (NPA) fighter died while two soldiers and a civilian were wounded in renewed clashes between communist rebels and troops of the Philippine Army at the hinterlands of Himamaylan City, Negros Occidental on Wednesday afternoon.
The encounter, which transpired in Sitio Paloypoy at 4:55 p.m., displaced about 65 families in Barangay Buenavista, who sought shelter in the covered court of neighboring Barangay Hilamonan, Kabankalan City.
Brig. Gen. Orlando Edralin, commander of the 303rd Infantry Brigade, said on Thursday that soldiers of the 94th Infantry Battalion (94IB) engaged about 15 communist rebels in a 20-minute firefight.
The unidentified male fatality, whose body was brought to the La Funeraria Soledad in Himamaylan, is the latest casualty in the series of encounters in central and southern Negros since last month.
In a radio interview, Lt. Col. Van Donald Almonte, commander of 94IB, said the two soldiers, who are being treated at a hospital, are in stable condition.
The resident who was hit by a stray bullet was also brought by the troops to a hospital, he added.
Almonte said his men recovered a high-powered firearm, ammunition for various firearms, personal belongings, and subversive documents.
On April 20, a communist rebel died while two soldiers of the 79th Infantry Battalion were also wounded during an encounter at Barangays Binaguiohan and Libertad in Escalante City.
Earlier in the same day, troops of the 94IB encountered a group of NPA fighters at the boundary of Binalbagan and Isabela towns, which killed Rogelio Posadas, the top leader of the NPA’s Komiteng Rehiyon – Negros, Cebu, Bohol, Siquijor.
On April 18, a firefight in Barangay Quintin Remo, Moises Padilla led to the death of Jose “Jojo” Albores, one of the leaders of the “kangaroo court” tasked to kill persons suspected to be against the NPA. (PNA)