BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN
A suspected member of the New People’s Army died, while an Army soldier was injured in renewed armed clashes in Sitio Bugalo, Brgy. Santol in Binalbagan, Negros Occidental Thursday.
A civilian was also slightly injured after he was hit by a stray bullet, Maj. Cenon Pancito, 3rd Infantry Division spokesman, said.
Soldiers of the 94th Infantry Battalion, who were in pursuit operations of the fleeing rebels they had encountered on Aug. 3, chanced upon the five suspected NPA rebels and that led to a five-minute gun-battle that claimed the life of a still unidentified rebel, who was left by his fleeing comrades at the encounter site, Pancito said.
Injured in his right leg was Army Pvt. Wilhelm Paul Tabafa, 25, while Henry Prial, 56, was grazed by a stray bullet in his left ear, P/Capt. Ellende Rebusquillo, Binalbagan police officer-in-charge, said.
Recovered at the encounter site was a .38 caliber pistol with ammunition.
Tabafa and Prial were immediately brought to the Isabela District Hospital for treatment of their injuries, Rebusquillo said.
The renewed armed clashes were offshoots of an encounter Tuesday in the same barangay, that led to the capture of two suspected NPA members identified as Eduardo Mission, alias Ka Edo, and George Francis, with aliases Pakyaw and Partner, both of Guihulngan City, Negros Oriental, and members of the Central Negros Front1.
The Aug. 3 encounter led to the recovery of an M653 assault rifle, M16 and M14 rifles with 10 magazines containing ammunition, a homemade shotgun with two bullets, two handheld radios, two cellular phones, two backpacks, and a medical kit.
Rebusquillo said that Mission had a pending arrest warrant for murder, while Esoy admitted being a member of the NPA. Both are now in the custody of the police.*