2 soldiers, rebels hurt in Isabela clash

By Villamor Visaya, Jr.

November 26, 2019, 7:35 pm

<p><strong>SEIZED.</strong> The seized firearms and other items after a clash between government troops and New People's Army (NPA) rebels in Barangay Ara, Benito Soliven, Isabela on Monday (Nov. 25, 2019). Two soldiers and an undetermined number of terrorist insurgents were hurt in the encounter. <em>(Photo courtesy of 95IB)</em></p>

SEIZED. The seized firearms and other items after a clash between government troops and New People's Army (NPA) rebels in Barangay Ara, Benito Soliven, Isabela on Monday (Nov. 25, 2019). Two soldiers and an undetermined number of terrorist insurgents were hurt in the encounter. (Photo courtesy of 95IB)

CAMP MELCHOR DELA CRUZ, Gamu, Isabela -- Two soldiers belonging to the 95th Infantry Battalion (95IB) and an undetermined number of New People's Army (NPA) rebels were wounded in a clash in Barangay Ara, Benito Soliven, Isabela on Monday.

Lt. Col. Gladius Calilan, 95IB commander, said the government troops recovered high-powered firearms and ammunition at the clash site as the rebels withdrew.

Calilan said the troops composed of two sniper teams recovered an M-14 Armalite rifle, two M-16 Baby Armalite rifles, a rocket-propelled grenade, assorted magazines and ammunition, detonating cords for explosives, backpacks, personal belongings and anti-government documents.

The 30-minute firefight occurred as Army soldiers were scouring the place and encountered 20 suspected rebels believed to be under the Regional Sentro de Gravidad (RSDG) of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP)-NPA’s Komiteng Rehiyon-Cagayan Valley.

Two Army soldiers sustained minor shrapnel wounds while the communist rebels dragged away their three bloodied comrades “who were believed either killed or seriously wounded,” Calilan told the Philippine News Agency in a phone interview on Tuesday.

“Numerous heavy bloodstains in the area and their routes of withdrawal were also seen,” he added.

Calilan had raised an alarm in the area, directing nearby Army units, Citizens Armed Forces Geographical Unit (Cafgu) Active Auxiliary patrol bases and police for pursuit, checkpoint and resource control operations in the boundaries of Benito Soliven, San Mariano, San Guillermo and Cauayan City which is covered by the CPP-NPA’s Central Front Committee, Kilusang Rebolusyonaryo-Cagayan Valley.

Maj. Gen. Pablo Lorenzo, 5th Infantry Division commander, said the latest gain was made possible “with the help of the people in the communities” threatened by the rebels.

“The (rebels) in the area are experiencing a very significant reduction of their manpower with the killing, surrender or going lie-low of their cadres, regular fighters, secret police in the barangays called Militia ng Bayan, and even their Communist Party members in the barangays called Sangay ng Partido sa Lokalidad,” he added.

The NPA, along with and its political wing, the CPP, is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines. (PNA)


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