Three soldiers and a militia member were wounded in a firefight on Saturday with a unit of the New People’s Army (NPA) that raided a police station in Davao Oriental province in southern Philippines on February 15, 2015 that left six people dead.
Reports reaching Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City (Metro Manila) identified the wounded as Corporal Oprino Teaño, Privates First Class Jonathan Avelino and Jake Nacilla, and civilian active auxiliary Nicanor Ortiz Fuentes.
The military said the NPA also suffered a number of casualties when they engaged troops from the Philippine Army’s 28th Infantry Battalion (IB) in Sitio Maitum, Barangay Mahayag, Banaybanay, Davao Oriental.
Prior to the encounter, the same band of rebels engaged troops from the 11th Scout Ranger Company on February 18, 2015.
Saturday’s encounter happened while the troops from the 28th IB were tracking the rebels whose position was reportedly tipped off by civilians.
As government troops were approaching the rebels’ location, they were met by gunfire from M-203 grenade launchers. The firefight lasted for 40 minutes after which the rebels withdrew.
The military recovered an M-16 rifle, various ammunition, backpacks and subversive documents.
“Our pursuit operation is gaining success as the NPA bandits have splintered into smaller groups. We will continue to track them with the help of the community,” said Col. Romeo Brawner Jr., of the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ Eastern Mindanao Command.