In the absence of peace negotiations between the government and the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF), separate encounters erupted anew between government security forces and rebel forces, leaving two soldiers dead.
Philippine Army spokesman, Lt. Col. Randolph Cabangbang, said that the latest firefight took place on Sunday in Barangay Santa Rosa Sur, Jose Panganiban, Camarines Norte between troopers of the 9th Infantry Division (ID) and some 15 heavily armed NPA fighters.
There was no reported casualty on either side but Cabangbang said that the rebels left behind a M16 rifle and three Icom radios.
However, two soldiers from the 4th ID’s 26 Infantry Battalion were killed in an encounter over the weekend with a band of rebels in Sitio Maliwanag, Esperanza town, Agusan del Sur.
Lt. Col. Leo Bongosia, spokesman of the 4th ID, reported that the soldiers were on a routine security patrol when the incident happened.
The encounter, he added, lasted for about 15 minutes before the rebels withdrew.
On Thursday, elements of the 8th ID’s 87th Infantry Battalion also encountered some 10 NPA rebels under Southern Samar 1, Samar Provincial Party Committee in Barangay Bugho, Pinabacdao, Samar.
Capt. Amado Gutierrez, spokesman of the 8th ID, said that the encounter resulted in the recovery of a M16 Armalite rifle, a M653 baby Armalite, three loaded AK 47 rifle magazines with 100 extra live ammunition, seven empty M16 magazines, and subversive documents.
No casualty was also reported from both sides.
On June 11, two soldiers from the 29th Infantry Battalion (IB) of the 4th ID were also killed while they were conducting hot pursuit operations in the hinterland barangay of San Isidro in Lingao town, Surigao del Sur.
A week before, three members of the 29th IB were also killed by a landmine in Sitio Buhisan, San Agustin, Surigao del Sur while attempting to capture a rebel training camp.
In May, encounters between elements of the 4ID and the NPA also occurred in Barangay San Antonio, Remedios Trinidad Romualdez town, Agusan del Sur; San Miguel, Surigao del Sur and in Bukidnon.