BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN
Armed clashes erupted anew between government soldiers and suspected New People’s Army rebels on October 29 in the hinterlands of Guihulngan City, Negros Oriental, while typhoon Paeng lashed Negros Island.
The two encounters in Sitio Mambog, Brgy. Planas and Sitio Ilihan in Brgy. Buenavista, Guihulngan City, led to the death of still unidentified suspected NPA member, the recovery of a .45 caliber pistol, a 12-gauge shotgun, a hand grenade, two Baofeng radios, two backpacks containing personal belongings and subversive documents.
Brig. Gen. Inocencio Pasaporte, 303rd Infantry Brigade commander, disclosed that Army soldiers, were on alert to conduct humanitarian assistance and disaster response operations due to Tropical Storm Paeng, when they were informed of extortion activities of NPA rebels in Sitio Mambog, Brgy. Planas, Guihullngan City.
Upon approaching to the site, Army soldiers were fired upon by a group of around 20 armed rebels, triggering an approximately 30-minutes gun battle, resulting in the NPA rebels scampering in various directions, according to Pasaporte.
Pursuing Army soldiers figured another encounter that lasted almost five minutes with the fleeing rebels in neighboring Sitio Ilihan, Brgy. Buenavista, also in Guihulngan City.
No casualty was reported on the government side, as rebels may have suffered casualties, according to traces of bloodstains along their withdrawal routes, Pasaporte said.*