BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN
Families displaced by recent twin encounters between Army soldiers and suspected New People’s Army rebels in Brgy. Quintin Remo, Moises Padilla, Negros Occidental, are now safe to return to their respective areas, Brig. Inocencio Pasaporte, 303rd Infantry Brigade commander, yesterday said.
More than 800 individuals in remote sitios of Brgy. Quintin Remo in Moises Padilla, Negros Occidental and its neighboring sitios within the boundary of Guihulngan City, Negros Oriental, left their homes on November 3 for security reasons, following twin encounters between Army soldiers and two groups of communist rebels that left two government troopers dead and injured four others.
Pasaporte said the displaced families in Moises Padilla town, some whom already returned to their respective areas, were immediately given food assistance by Mayor Ella Celestina Garcia-Yulo and the provincial government while temporarily taking shelter in the barangay poblacion.
The displaced families are now staying at the Nacuruhan and Binata-an Elementary Schools, Oway-oway Church, and Santos-Santos Center in the barangay.
While government troopers successfully managed to thwart a planned New People’s Army attack on soldiers securing the ongoing Hilaitan-Trinidad farm to market road in Guihulngan City, which is now 90 percent complete, it cost the lives of two soldiers, he added.
Pursuit operations against the fleeing rebels are still ongoing as of this time, Pasaporte also said.
Maj. Gen. Benedict Arevalo, 3rd Infantry Division commander, ordered Army troops in Negros to conduct relentless military operations against the NPA to prevent more of their terroristic activities.*