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9 rebels killed, arms cache recovered in continuing gun battles

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• GILBERT P. BAYORAN

One of the four slain rebels being transported from the encounter site to a funeral parlor in Guihulngan City, Negros Oriental.* PA photo

Nine suspected New People’s Army rebels have died, while two others surrendered, in a series of gun battles with Army soldiers in Moises Padilla, Negros Occidental, and Guihulngan City, Negros Oriental, during the weekend.

The armed skirmishes between 62nd Infantry Battalion soldiers and about 14 suspected NPA rebels started on Saturday in Sitio Napilu-an Brgy. Quintin Remo, Moises Padilla, Negros Occidental.

Pursuit operations of the fleeing rebels resulted in two more armed engagements in Sitio Oway-Oway of the same barangay, according to 2Lt.Mary Liza Joy De Guzman, 62IB Civil Military Operations officer.

Army soldiers later discovered that five rebels died, whose cadavers were left behind by their fleeing comrades at the encounter sites, de Guzman said.

Also recovered from the encounter sites were an M16 assault rifle, two caliber .38 revolvers, a KG-9 automatic pistol, two homemade 12-gauge shotguns, four rifle grenades, assorted ammunition, two Baofeng radios, a cellular phone, and 15 back packs containing personal belongings, assorted food supplies, and a New People’s Army flag, among others.

Pursuing Army troopers yesterday caught up with the fleeing rebels in Sitio Cambawgon, Brgy. Trinidad, Guihulngan City, Negros Oriental, resulting in another 20-minute gun battle.

While clearing the encounter site, four more slain rebels were discovered and more firearms recovered, De Guzman said.

Two other rebels also surrendered, she added.

Also recovered from the encounter site were a cache of firearms and explosives, including an M4 Firebird assault rifle, three M16 armalite rifles, a caliber .30 Springfield BAR (Browning Automatic Rifle), three caliber .45 pistols, assorted ammunition, four rifle grenades, a hand grenade, an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) with detonating cord, a binocular, and five backpacks containing personal belongings.

Troops also discovered bloodstains along the rebel’s withdrawal route, indicating that more fleeing rebels were injured, De Guzman said.

No Army soldiers were reported injured in the series of gun battles.

The identities of nine slain rebels have yet to be established as of this time by the authorities.

Mayor Ella Celestina Garcia Yulo (right) visits the families temporarily displaced by series of encounters at the evacuation center in Brgy. Quintin Remo, Moises Padilla, Negros Occidental.*

The series of encounters in the hinterlands of Moises Padilla prompted 212 families, composed of 819 individuals, to leave their respective homes for security reasons, on May 20.

After receiving relief goods and food packs from the Moises Padilla Municipal Social Welfare and Development Office, they returned to their respective residences yesterday, according to the 62IB.*

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