GOVERNMENT security forces and New People’s Army (NPA) rebels on Thursday engaged in a running gun battle in a hinterland village in Negros Oriental that left two rebels dead and scores of others injured.
Capt. Cresencio Gargar, spokesperson of the 302nd Infantry Brigade, Third Infantry Division (ID), said the 20-minute encounter that took place at Sitio Makasakasa, Barangay Balayong in Pamplona town.
Gargar said that prior to the encounter, they received information from concerned citizens about the presence of unidentified armed men in one of the houses in their barangay supposedly waiting for food.
“The troops immediately acted on the report and found that NPA rebels were in the said house. Negotiations were made for their peaceful surrender but they still fired on our troops,” he added.
Meanwhile, Maj. Gen. Aurelio Baladad, Third ID commander, reiterated his appeal to the rebels to lay down their arms for the sake of peace and development.
He said that the government gives P65,000 in livelihood assistance to rebels who return to mainstream society under the Comprehensive Local Integration Programs of the Department of Interior and Local Government and the Office of Presidential Assistant on the Peace Process.