CEBU CITY – A high-ranking leader of the New People’s Army (NPA) and four other rebels died in an encounter with government forces in Cabacnitan village, Bilar town in Bohol on Tuesday.
A soldier was injured in the firefight, and is now in stable condition in one of the hospitals in Tagbilaran City.
A statement by the 3rd Infantry “Spearhead” Division’s (3ID) public affairs office said the soldiers from the 47th Infantry “Katapan” Battalion (47IB) were conducting a combat operation in response to reports of local residents on plans of the communist terrorist groups (CTGs) to “liquidate” known government supporters and personalities.
“While responding, the troops encountered more or less 11 armed members of the communist-terrorist group,” Maj. Cenon Pancito, the Army Division’s public affairs officer, said.
The government troops seized from the encounter site two M16 rifles; five .45 caliber pistols, a bandolier, three short magazines of M16 with 30 rounds of ammunition, six cellular phones, a laptop, a grenade, a hand-held radio, and various subversive documents with high intelligence value.
Pancito said one of the fatalities was believed to be the vice commanding officer of SYP Platoon of the CTG's Bohol Party Committee.
The operating soldiers said they encountered 11 rebels, six of whom escaped eastward.
Authorities have yet to release the names of the fatalities, one of whom was female, 47th IB civil military operations officer 1st Lt. Elma Grace Abulencia said.
Maj. Gen. Eric Vinoya, 3rd ID commander, commended the troops for their successful armed engagement with the NPA members.
The 47IB is under the operational control of the 302nd Infantry Brigade which is also a unit under the supervision of the 3ID.
Vinoya also lauded the vigilance of the residents and local chief executives in reporting the movement and activities of CTGs and lawless elements in their areas.
“Bohol was once declared insurgency-free province because of the will of the people to stay peaceful. This province is not a safe place for NPAs. Boholanos are resilient and united people. They will not allow violence to prosper again in their beautiful island,” Vinoya said. “The NPAs should heed the call of Boholanos for a harmonious province for them to avoid this kind of misfortune”. (PNA)