LEGAZPI CITY: A New People’s Army (NPA) commander and six of his men were killed in 30-minute gunfight with Philippine Army and Philippine National Police (PNP) troops early Friday morning in a village in Matnog, Sorsogon.
PNP Regional Director Chief Superintendent Victor Deona said one of the casualties was identified only as Ka Cris or Randy, also known as “Kumander.” The other casualties were unnamed.
He added that two rebels were also captured during the incident and one of them was rushed to the hospital for treatment.
The rebels were allegedly planning to raid a police station when they were surprised by government troops who were tipped about the presence of about 25 heavily armed men at Sitio Hukdong, Barangay Balocawe.
The encounter began at about 5:40 a.m. and lasted for 30 minutes without any casualties from the government side. At least six high-powered firearms were recovered—a machinegun, two M16 rifles, two Armalite rifles, and an M203 grenade launcher.
Matnog was the site of the longest gun battle between insurgents and government troops two decades ago.
Major General Yerson Depaysa, 9th Infantry Division commander, said troops from the 31st Infantry Battalion under the 903rd Brigade are currently in pursuit of fleeing rebels.
In another incident, five rebels were believed killed in a 10-minute firefight with soldiers at Barangay Hinapuyan, Carmen, Surigao del Sur.