SAN NICOLAS, Pangasinan: At least three alleged members of the New People’s Army (NPA) rebels were killed in an encounter with police operatives along the boundary of Barangay Malico and Santa Maria this town on late Friday afternoon.
Pangasinan Police Provincial Director, Senior Supt. Ronald Oliver-Lee, told The Manila Times that the encounter erupted while joint operatives of the Regional Public Safety Battalion, Provincial Intelligence Branch, Provincial Public Safety Company and Regional Intelligence Unit were conducting combat and clearing operations along Camp 3 and Camp 4 of Barangay Santa Maria at about 6:30 p.m. were fired upon by a group of rebels.
He said before the encounter, barangay leaders and residents in the area reported the presence of armed men at about 5 p.m. and the government troops were immediately deployed.
The advance team of policemen was met by a volley of gunfire from the group of about 30 NPA rebels triggering a fierce firefight that lasted for more than two hours.
Reinforcement troops from the Marines and Army arrived at about 8:30 p.m. to help the policemen in pursuing the rebels.
Three of the NPA rebels were killed while an undetermined number was wounded and believed carried away by the retreating group.
Recovered at the crime scene were a rifle grenade launcher, explosive device, trip wires, ignition switch, a sub-machine gun, assorted ammunition for M16 and M14 rifles, two cell phones and other documents.