• GILBERT P. BAYORAN
A series of armed skirmishes in Binalbagan, Isabela, and Escalante Negros Occidental, yesterday led to the killing of two members of the New People’s Army, and injuries to two Army soldiers.
Col. Orlando Edralin, 303rd Infantry Brigade commander, disclosed that the first encounter took place between 15 NPA members and 62nd Infantry Battalion, which started at about 2:30 a.m. yesterday, in Brgy. Camang Camang, Isabela.
Two more encounters ensued in Brgy. Santol, Binalbagan, as the 94th Infantry Battalion joined the 62IB in the conduct of pursuit operations, Edralin said.
The identity of the slain rebel has not been established, while pursuit operations against the fleeing rebels are still underway as of press time.
None of the Army troopers were either injured or killed in the three gun battles in Binalbagan and Isabela.
A NPA member also died yesterday in another encounter in Escalante City, while two soldiers of the 79th Infantry Battalion were injured in the gun battle.
Recovered from the encounter site were the cadaver of slain rebel, an M14 assault rifle, three rifle grenades and three more 40mm grenade launcher ammunition.
The latest gun battle took place two days after an encounter also ensued in Brgy. Quintin Remo, Moises Padilla, that claimed the life of rebel leader Jose Albores, a member of the Leonardo Panaligan Command, who heads a “kangaroo court”, responsible for conviction of numerous civilians tagged as military informants, who were then killed in central Negros.
Also recovered from the encounter site were KG9 automatic assault pistol, a hand grenade, and personal belongings.
In a statement, Maj. Gen. Marion Sison, 3rd Infantry Division commander, commended the 62nd, 94th and 79th IBs for their relentless anti insurgency effort that resulted in the successful combat operations in Negros.
There were reports also that rebels encountered by Army soldiers have plans to attack a detachment in Brgy. Cansolongon, Isabela.*