By PNA and U.S. News Agency / Asian
Military authorities considered the recovery of cache of firearms and explosives after a recent encounter between army soldiers and New People’s Army (NPA) rebels in Barangay Buri, Tapaz, Capiz as their major accomplishment.
Maj. Enrico Gil Ileto, spokesman of 3rd Infantry Spearhead Division, Philippine Army, based in Camp Macario Peralta, Jamindan, Capiz, said the firefight happened after the government forces had conducted combat operation in the hinterlands of the said barangay, where soldiers, led by 1Lt. Roberto Escalona, encountered over the weekend about 20 armed rebels.
The army soldiers engaged the armed rebels for more than an hour gun battle that later saw the enemy withdrawing towards the forested area.
Ileto said the government forces chanced upon the NPA rebels while the latter were conducting a training of new recruit members on how to make an improvised explosive device (IED), as evidenced of the recovered explosives in the scene of the firefight.
Parts of the recovery include a shotgun, rifle grenade, hand grenade, laptop, generator set and improvised explosive device.
Fortunately, there were no casualties or wounded on the government while they could not ascertain yet if there were casualties or wounded on enemy side believed to be members of the NPA’s Central Panay Command.
Meanwhile, a soldier from a Peace and Development Team (PDT) of the 47th Infantry Battalion (47IB) was killed by suspected members of the New People’s Army (NPA) in an early Tuesday morning ambush in Barangay Camindangan, Sipalay City in southern Negros Occidental.
The fatality, Pfc John P Ilisan of 47IB’s Bravo Company, was with a fellow soldier to buy food stuffs early on a market day in said sitio for the PDT’s consumption when treacherously shot dead by his attackers at Sitio Camboguiot in the said barangay.
A native of Dingle, Iloilo, Ilisan was unarmed when ambushed.
“He was there to help farmers of barangays Camindangan and Manlukahok, Sipalay City on their land ownership and tenurial concerns by serving as conduit between the farmers and the right government agencies”, said 47IB commander Lt. Col. Rodrigo Sosmena in a press statement.
“The killing of Pfc Ilisan who is doing community peace and development works is not only an attack to the unit but to farmers and the peace loving people of Sipalay City. This is a plain display of desperation on the part of the NPA who cannot accept that they are already alienated from the farmers’ support”, said Sosmena.
But despite the incident, Sosmena vowed the Philippine Army in the area would continue its commitment to the farmers to help them and free them from the deceit and manipulation of the NPAs.