ILOILO CITY — Three members of the New People’s Army were killed in a clash with troops of the Philippine Army’s 61st Infantry Battalion (61 IB) Tuesday afternoon at the mountain village of Puti-an, Cuartero, Capiz.
Lt. Col. Sisenando Magbalot, 61st IB commanding officer, said that a body of a rebel was recovered right after the encounter while two other corpses were recovered early morning of Wednesday when they continued their clearing operations.
The NPA members have yet to be identified, Magbalot said.
The slain NPA members are still wearing their battle gears when they were recovered, Magbalot said. The firefight with more than 20 NPA members lasted for about an hour.
Aside from the bodies, the soldiers also recovered two high-powered firearms and one AK-47 rifle. These firearms are already in the custody of operating troops.
Magbalot assured that none from Army troops was wounded or killed during the encounter.
Magbalot said that they sent small troops to Barangay Puti-an this week to verify residents’ reports there are NPA members doing extortion activities in the area.
“There is an ongoing harvest in the area. They (NPA members) obtained sacks of rice from residents and sell them. There are even envelopes recovered with names on it,” Magbalot added.
To further secure the safety and security of the residents and protect them against further extortion activities of NPA members, Magbalot assured to constantly provide community support program to the communities.
He mentioned that the Capiz Public Safety Company is also active in inspecting the community.
Residents are urged to report to authorities if they are being harmed by armed groups or victimized by extortion activities. Cindy Ferrer/PNA-northboundasia.com