BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN
Two suspected New People’s Army rebels were killed in an encounter with Army soldiers in Purok Yuring, Sitio Dash 7 in Brgy. Bulwangan, Hinobaan, Negros Occidental, on Saturday.
Soldiers of the 15th Infantry Battalion were on combat operations when they encountered members of the Platoon 3 of the South West Front of the Komiteng Rehiyonal-Negros/Cebu/Bohol/Siquijor, and a 40-minute gunbattle ensued.
Maj. Cenon Pancito, 3rd Infantry Division spokesman, said yesterday that the fleeing rebels left behind two of their slain comrades, who were identified only as aliases Ka Michael and Ken Ken.
No one was hurt among the soldiers, who recovered at the encounter site two .45 caliber pistols with a magazine containing ammunition, extortion letters, cellular phones, subversive documents, and personal belongings, Pancito said.
He added that residents in the area, who were fed up by the extortion activities and the sowing of fear in the insurgency-cleared areas of Hinobaan, reported the presence of armed rebels to the 15IB.
Lt. Col. Erwin Cariño, 15IB commander, extended sympathies to the families of the slain rebels, and lauded the residents for their timely information. He said it was a clear manifestation of the collaborative efforts between authorities and the community.
“We extend our condolences to the bereaved families of the two NPA terrorists who lost their lives in fighting for a lost cause,” Carino said. He assured that the Army and the local government of Hinobaan will provide assistance to ensure decent burials for the dead rebels. The gunbattle took place after communist rebels killed two intelligence operatives of the 15IB in an ambush in Brgy. Yaoyao, Cauayan, Negros Occidental on April 3.*