DAVAO CITY: A New People’s Army member was killed while a soldier was wounded and scores of high-powered firearms were recovered in a series of armed encounters in Davao Occidental and Compostela Valley.
Elements of the 73rd Infantry Battalion encountered an undetermined number of NPA rebels in Sitio Malbag, Barangay Little Baguio in Malita, Davao Occidental that left one communist rebel dead on Thursday.
Fleeing rebels left behind the dead body of their comrade while government troops recovered an M16 armalite rifle from the encounter site, said Captain Rhyan Batchar, chief information officer of the Philippine Army’s 10th Infantry (Agila) Division, in a statement sent to the media on Friday.
The troops responded to reports of civilians on the presence of NPA rebels in the area that resulted in the encounter, he added.
Similiarly, he said, a series of armed clashes also happened in Montevista, Compostela Valley on Thursday morning.
A soldier was wounded when elements of the 25th Infantry Battalion clashed with about 20 NPA rebels belonging to Guerilla Front 33 and Pulang Bagani 4 in Purok 4, Barangay Mayaon.
Batchar said that after the 15-minute firefight, four M16 armalite rifles, an M14 rifle, two M1 garand rifles, an M2 carbine rifle, a .38 caliber revolver, backpacks containing personal belongings and several subversive documents were recovered after the rebels fled.
The wounded soldier was not named pending notification of his family.
Meanwhile, pursuit operations against the fleeing rebels also resulted in another encounter in the afternoon where after a 10-mimute clash, troopers recovered two M16 armalite rifle, two M14 rifle, two M1 garand rifle, one AK-47 rifle, an improvised explosive device and personal belongings.
Brig. Gen. Macairog Alberto, commander of 1001st Infantry Brigade commended the government troopers in a statement on Friday.
“As long as NPA rebels continue to terrorize the people of Compostela Valley, the military will not hesitate to use legitimate force to drive them away from the community and its people,” Alberto, said.
ALEXANDER D. LOPEZ