BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN
Two suspected New People’s Army rebels and an Army soldier died in an encounter at Hacienda Remunda in Brgy. Kapitan Ramon, Silay City, Negros Occidental yesterday.
1Lt. Dansan Camua, 79th Infantry Battalion Civil Military Operations officer, said the 79IB soldiers had responded to reports of hacienda residents about the reported extortion and recruitment activities of communist rebels in their community that led to the clash.
Camua said the gunbattle lasted for about 35 minutes, then some 10 rebels scampered to various directions and left their slain comrade, whose identity has not been established, as of this time.
He said an M16 Armalite rifle, a backpack and a poncho were also recovered by 79IB soldiers at the encounter site during the clearing operations.
Brig. Gen. Inocencio Pasaporte, 303rd Infantry Brigade commander, said that follow-up operations of the 79IB also led to the discovery of the cadaver of a suspected NPA amazon, believed to be in her late 20s, about 500 meters away from the encounter site.
Pasaporte said they are still validating reports that the slain amazon served as political officer of the NPA. Her identity has not been established yet.
The 79th IB, in a Facebook post last night, said it “honors the bravery and heroism of Private First Class Christopher Alada, who paid the ultimate sacrifice while protecting the people of Hacienda Raymunda, Brgy. Kapitan Ramon, Silay City, against the CPP-NPA terrorists”.
The Masaligan troopers expressed their condolences to the bereaved family of Alada. “We honor his sacrifice, bravery, and heroism”.
Camua said the soldier was declared dead on arrival at a private hospital in Bacolod City.
The Silay City police, 1st Provincial Mobile Force Company, and PNP Special Action Force are augmenting the 79IB in the conduct of checkpoints and clearing operations.
The rebels encountered by the 79IB are believed to be remnants of the Northern Negros Front that was declared dismantled by the AFP Central Command early this year, and are now recruiting new members.*