AN incumbent Barangay (village) captain, allegedly a member of the New People’s Army (NPA), was killed on Wednesday in a clash with soldiers in Masbate, the Philippine Army said on Thursday.
The Bicol-based 9th Infantry Division identified the slain official as Wolfert Dalanon alias Ompong, village chief of San Antonio in Milagros town.
Joint elements from the 2nd Infantry Battalion and the 2nd Masbate Provincial Mobile Force Company were conducting combat operations in San Antonio after receiving a report of presence of communist rebels in the area.
During the operation, troops encountered communist rebels under the NPA’s Bicol Regional Party Committee. A gunbattle erupted and lasted for an hour and 20 minutes.
Dalanon died on the spot.
Authorities also recovered an M16 rifle, an M653 rifle, carbine, laptop and several documents at the scene of the encounter.
The military said the slain village chairman had been supportive of the activities of the communist rebels such as recruitment.
The military also said that an initial report revealed that rebels have been training in San Antonio village for several days and Dalanon was supposed to graduate from the recruitment when the firefight happened. DEMPSEY REYES