MASBATE CITY: Four New People’s Army (NPA) members and a soldier were killed in an armed encounter that occurred between the municipalities of Cawayan and Uson in Masbate on Monday.
The joint elements of Masbate Police Public Safety Company, Regional Intelligence Unit, Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) and soldiers from the Army’s 9th Infantry Battalion were trying to serve warrants of arrest when the rebels attacked them.
Army Sgt. Fernando H. Leynes, Jr. was killed in the encounter while three of his companions were hurt in the incident.
Supt. Oscar Regala, Bicol police intelligence officer said the incident took place at 4:38 in the afternoon on Monday.
Regala told The Manila Times that the team was about to serve the warrant of arrest to a rebel facing charges they encountered 20 NPA members between Barangay Palo-bandira in Cawayan town and Barangay Delcarmen in Uson town.
Recovered from the encounter site were a caliber .45 pistol and an improvised explosive device. The three wounded soldiers were brought to Masbate provincial hospital for medical treatment and were declared out of danger.
The spokesperson of the PNP Criminal Investigation and Detection Group, Chief Insp. Elizabeth Jas-min said that CIDG personnel escorted by elements of Masbate Provincial Public Safety Company (PPSC) and army troops in serving the warrants for two village chairmen.
The team was attempting to serve another warrant, to a certain Dindo Monsanto, when NPA rebels ambushed them.
The CIDG spokesperson said Monsato is the secretary of the NPA in Masbate province and has a bounty of P1.2 million for his arrest.