3 rebels killed, firearms seized in Northern Samar clash

TACLOBAN CITY — Three members of the New People’s Army (NPA) were killed while several materiel of the rebel group were recovered in a clash between the military and the communist terrorist group in Las Navas, Northern Samar over the weekend.

Troops from the Army’s 20th Infantry Battalion (20IB) were conducting patrol operations when they encountered a group of rebels in the upland Sag-od village. The military acted on a report provided by three rebels captured on Oct. 3 and some residents.

“One fatality was left in the scene of encounter while the remaining two and many others wounded were carried by the fleeing terrorists as reported by the civilians,” the 20IB said in a statement issued Sunday night.

The military identified the slain rebels as Ricky Torzido, Jary Tolling and Danilo Olango. Some rebels were also wounded and carried by their fleeing comrades, according to witnesses.

Recovered from slain rebels were an M16 rifle, Bushmaster rifle, M14 rifle, bandolier, long fully-loaded magazines, first aid kit, flashlight and sling bag with personal belongings.

Lt. Col. Juan Gullem, 20IB commander, lauded the troops for the successful pursuit operation against the NPA members who have terrorized and disturbed the lives of the affected civilian community.

“It is unfortunate that fellow Filipinos were killed because of the propaganda, lies, and deception of communist terrorist groups. Your Army in Northern Samar is resolute to address any armed group threatening the safety and well-being of our people,” Gullem said.

He called on others NPA rebels in Las Navas town and in Northern Samar province to lay down their arms while there is still time and live a peaceful life in the company of their families and loved ones.

“We assure the NPA rebels of their safety and extend our arms for any assistance should they opt to return to the folds of the law,” he added.

The leadership of the 20IB is also asking the community to continue helping the military and the government in attaining just and lasting peace as well as sustainable development in Northern Samar.

The NPA, along with its political wing, the Communist Party of the Philippines, has been waging a five-decade armed struggle against the government, and is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, European Union, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the Philippines.  Sarwell Meniano / PNA – northboundasia.com