BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN
Another suspected member of the New People’s Army yesterday died in an encounter with Army soldiers in Sitio Manlibod, Brgy. Trinidad, Guihulngan City, Negros Oriental.
Brig. Gen. Inocencio Pasaporte, 303rd Infantry Brigade commander, disclosed that about eight NPA members were encountered by patrolling soldiers of the 62nd Infantry Battalion, who were responding to reports of civilians on the presence of armed men in their community.
Pasaporte said the gun battle lasted about five minutes, after which the rebels scampered in various directions, leaving behind their slain comrade at the encounter site, where Army soldiers also recovered a hand grenade, a caliber .45 pistol with two magazines containing ammunition, caliber .38 ammunition, binoculars and assorted personal belongings.
He reported that the gun battle ensued after the Army soldiers were fired upon by rebels, as they approached their targeted area of operations.
No casualty was reported on the government side, while the identity of the slain rebel has not been established as of press time.
Pasaporte said he believes that the armed rebels were the same group encountered by 62IB soldiers on August 16 and 17 in Sitio Cambairan of the barangay, that also resulted in the recovery of a .357 Magnum revolver with ammunition and personal belongings.
Four other suspected NPA rebels died in separate encounters last month with 62nd and 94IB soldiers in Canlaon City, Negros Oriental, and Brgy. Buenavista, Himamaylan City, Negros Occidental, the military added.*