Four suspected members of the New People’s Army (NPA) died Friday during a meeting with soldiers in Masbate, the Philippine military said.
The clash occurred around 5:50 a.m. on the border between Barangay Baras in Esperanza municipality and Barangay Manlut-od in Placer municipality, the army said.
Concerned citizens informed them that there were suspected Communists in their area, according to the military.
Members of the Philippine Army’s 2nd Infantry Battalion, 903rd Infantry Brigade, and the Philippine National Police (PNP) then traveled to the area and encountered at least 20 suspected NPA rebels.
This led to an “intense shooting” which “lasted for an hour” and resulted in the deaths of the four suspected rebels, the army said.
An R4 rifle, two M16 rifles, two M653 rifles, a Garand rifle, two rifle grenades, a hand grenade, anti-personnel mines and terrorist propaganda material were recovered from the site of the meeting, he said. added.
The military said no one was injured on the government side.
Lieutenant-Colonel Siegfried Felipe Awichen, Battalion Commander of the Philippine Army’s 2nd Infantry Brigade, called on the NPA suspects for their “attempt to terrorize” at the height of Typhoon Odette.
âAt a time when we should be helping people in geographically isolated and disadvantaged areas (GIDA), the CTG [communist terrorist group] continues to plunder the countryside, further compounding the plight of our impoverished Filipino compatriots, âhe said.
The Brigade Commander of the Philippine Army’s 903rd Infantry Brigade, Colonel Aldwine Almase, thanked residents for informing them of the rebel presence.
Regional Police Office 5 Regional Police Director Brigadier General Jonnel Estomo ordered PNP troops to hunt down rebels who were trying to find shelter in the province after the encounter.
Meanwhile, Brigadier General Adonis Bajao, Acting Division Commander of the Army’s 9th Infantry Division, assured residents of strict safety measures as part of the government’s response to the aftermath of Typhoon Odette. . âKG, GMA News