ANOTHER young military officer from the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) Class 2011, was killed over the weekend in a clash with members of the New People’s Army (NPA) in the borders of Misamis Oriental and Bukidnon.
Maj. Leo Bongosia, spokesman of the 4th Infantry Division, on Sunday said that Second Lt. Dennis Avila, 24, was fatally wounded during a firefight with the rebels and died while being treated in a hospital.
According to Bongosia, the incident took place on Friday in the bordering town of Claveria in Misamis Oriental and Malitbog in Bukidnon.
Avila, a native of Tarlac, belongs to the Army’s 8th Infantry Battalion, who was then conducting combat operations in Claveria town when they chanced upon a group heavily armed rebels that resulted in a running gun battle.
Bongosia said that, the soldiers pursued the withdrawing rebels, resulting in the wounding of Avila and Private First Class Ales Andilong.
He said that Avila was hit on the side of his body, damaging major organs, while Andilong was wounded on the thighs and is now in stable condition.
The Caraga Region, covering Agusan de Norte, Agusan del Sur, Surigao del Norte and Surigao del Sur, and part of Region 10, particularly Misamis Oriental and Bukidnon, including the cities of Cagayan de Oro and Gingoog, have the biggest concentration of NPA rebels.
Prior to the May 13 mid-term election, then Mayor Ruthie Guingona of Guingoog City and her escort were ambushed by NPA rebels.
In February, communist guerillas also attacked the main camps of multinational firms Del Monte Philippines and Dole Philippines Inc. in Bukidnon.
Avila is the second member of PMA Class 2011 who died in a span of two weeks.
On May 25, Avila’s classmate or “mistah,” Second Lt. Alfredo Lorin, also died, along with six other enlisted personnel, in a clashed with the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) militants in Patikul, Sulu.
Lorin’s team was then tracking down a group involved in kidnapping in Sulu when they encounter an undetermined number of heavily armed members of the ASG.