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Negros, Capiz encounters yield firearms

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• GILBERT P. BAYORAN

The focused military operations of the Philippine Army against remnants of the New People’s Army in Negros Oriental and Capiz in Panay, led to more encounters on March 15, resulting in the recovery of firearms and injuries of fleeing rebels.

In a statement, the 303rd Infantry Brigade reported that the 62nd Infantry Battalion successfully thwarted a group of NPA remnants from disrupting the delivery of government services following an encounter at the boundaries of barangays Aya and Talaon in La Libertad, Negros Oriental, on Friday night.

According to Maj. Mervin Rosal, 303rd Infantry Brigade Civil Military Operations officer, the encounter between 62IB soldiers and four remnants of the dismantled Central Negros 1 guerilla front, which lasted about three minutes, resulted in the recovery of a 12-gauge shotgun with ammunition, empty M16 assault rifle and shotgun shells, subversive documents, and personal belongings of the fleeing rebels.

No 62IB soldiers were injured, while pursuing Army soldiers discovered blood stains along rebels withdrawal route, which indicates that some of them may have been wounded, Rosal said.

Prior to the encounter, he said the rebel remnants were monitored to have been planning to disrupt the ongoing implementation government socio-economic programs in central Negros.

However, their attempt was foiled due to heightened security measures, Rosal said.

The rebels then shifted their focus to La Libertad, where they were promptly intercepted by 62IB forces, he added.

On the same day, another encounter also ensued between 12th Infantry Battalion soldiers and about 10 NPA rebels at Brgy. San Antonio in Tapaz, Capiz.

The encounter, which lasted about five minutes, resulted in the recovery of an M16 assault rifle with a magazine containing 10 ammunition, and personal belongings which were left behind by the fleeing rebels, a statement from the Army’s 3rd Infantry Division said.

The 3ID supervises nine Army battalions, stationed in Negros, Panay and Bohol.*

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