Rebel killed in Surigao Del Norte in first clash with gov’t troops since lifting of ceasefire

MANILA — A suspected New People’s Army (NPA) fighter was killed following a clash with 30th Infantry Battalion troopers and police officers in Malimono town, Surigao Del Norte Monday morning.

The incident transpired at 8:00 a.m., said AFP spokesperson Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla, the first recorded fighting among government forces and NPA units since the lifting of the unilateral ceasefire Saturday.

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte ordered the lifting of the ceasefire, declared during his State-of-the-Nation-Address last July 25, in wake of the NPA’s failure to declare their own version of the ceasefire last July 30.

The clash lasted for five minutes and resulted in the death of one rebel and recovery of an AK-47 automatic rifle, two IEDs (improvised explosive device), assorted ammunition and magazines and gallons of rice and other foodstuff.

No losses were recorded among 30th Infantry Battalion troopers.

Padilla said military and police units were responding to NPA extortion complaints when the clash happened in a hill near the Malimono City Hall.

Allegedly, NPA units were supposed to meet their couriers there and pick up money and supplies raised by extorting residents of Barangays San Isidro and Binucayan.

However, this was foiled by the immediate response of government security forces and resulted in the death of one rebel.

Government forces are still conducting pursuit operations as of this time. PNA/