TWO soldiers died and two were wounded in an encounter with members of the New People’s Army (NPA) in Kalinga, the Philippine Army reported on Wednesday.
Capt. Jefferson Somera, spokesman of the Army’s Isabela-based 5th Infantry Division (ID), said that the clash happened at about 10 a.m. in Barangay Baay, Pinukpuk on Tuesday.
He said there was an undetermined number of casualties on the NPA side.
The slain soldiers were identified as Corporal Jeather Langcay and Private First Class Edward Boggat while the two wounded were Staff Sgt. Virgilio Jacinto and Private First Class Keaven Macaiba.
The soldiers were from the Army’s 50th Infantry Battalion (IB), which is under the leadership of Lt. Col. Martin Daiz Jr.
Somera said that Daiz’s unit was responding to a tip given by civilians from the area that there were NPA fighters conducting extortion activities.
Brig. Gen. Perfecto Rimando Jr., commander of the 5th ID, ordered the immediate evacuation of the wounded soldiers and ordered pursuit operations against the communist fighters who fled after the encounter, according to Somera.
Somera said that additional troops were deployed by the 5th ID to augment members of the 50th IB pursuing the NPA rebels. DEMPSEY REYES