TWO members of the communist New People’s Army (NPA) were killed in an encounter with government security forces in Sarangani on Friday, a military official said.
Col. Robert Ancan, commander of the Philippine Army’s 102nd Infantry Brigade, said the encounter between government troops and with at least 15 NPA members happened at about 6:30 a.m. at Sitio Balataan, Barangay Pag-asa, Alabel following a report from concerned citizens that there were armed men “extorting and intimidating” residents.
Ancan said soldiers from the 73rd Infantry Battalion conducted security patrol in the area to confirm the report from locals and were fired upon by NPA members, prompting soldiers to return fire.
The one-hour firefight resulted in the deaths of the two NPA members whose identities have yet to be confirmed by the military.
Ancan also claimed that based on the blood stains in the encounter site and the withdrawal route of the communist fighters, some of them were also wounded.
Recovered were five high-powered firearms, personal belongings and several war materials from the NPA rebels.
Capt. Mc Gary Dida, civil-military operations officer of the Army’s 1002nd Infantry Brigade, said seized were two AK-47, two M16 rifles, one Garrand rifle, seven back packs, two handheld radios, one NPA flag and subversive documents. DEMPSEY REYES