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3 rebels killed in gun battles, 258 families evacuate

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• GILBERT P. BAYORAN

Three suspected New People’s Army rebels died, while 258 families fled their homes, following two successive encounters in Brgy. Oringao, Kabankalan City, Negros Occidental, on February 4 and 5.

Capt. Mervin Rosal, 303rd Infantry Brigade Civil Military Operations officer, yesterday said that the cadavers of three slain rebels were discovered at the encounter site in Sitio Bugne, Brgy. Oringao, Kabankalan City, by 94th Infantry Battalion soldiers, after a gun battle on Saturday. 

Rosal reported the recovery of an M14 rifle, a super .38 caliber pistol, a caliber .45 pistol, backpacks containing personal belongings and subversive documents, at the encounter site.

Pursuit operations on the fleeing rebels yesterday led to another encounter in the same area, Rosal said.

He reported that no 94IB soldier was hurt in the two armed encounters.

In his Facebook account, Mayor Benjie Miranda reported that 258 families have been temporarily displaced by the series of encounters.

Miranda said the displaced 258 families, composed of 718 individuals, are now temporarily staying at the Oringao barangay covered court for their safety, and their needs are being attended to.

Col. Orlando Edralin, newly installed 303rd Infantry Brigade commander, and Lt. Col. Van Donald Almonte, 94IB commander, lauded the cooperation extended to them by civilians in the area, who immediately reported the presence of rebels to troops stationed in the area.

“The bravery that you exhibited during the series of security operations for the people of Negros, especially in Kabankalan is incomparable,” Edralin said.*

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