BACOLOD CITY – A Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) rebel died during an encounter with troops of the Philippine Army’s 94th Infantry Battalion (IB) in Barangay Buenavista, Himamaylan City, Negros Occidental on Wednesday afternoon.
On Thursday, the 3rd Infantry Division (ID) released a photo of the fatality initially identified as “Kurikoy” or “Jun-jun”.
Army reports said at around 3:30 p.m., the soldiers engaged at least seven communist-terrorists in a 10-minute firefight in Sitio Bugo after residents reported the presence of NPA rebels.
“Some residents of Barangay Buenavista have complained of being harassed and accused as military informants by the CPP-NPA terrorists,” said Lt. Col. Angelo Guzman, commander of 94IB, in a statement.
After the gun battle, which led the rebels to withdraw toward the Cabadiangan creek, troops recovered personal belongings, an M1 carbine rifle, and two .357 caliber pistols - the three loaded with ammunition.
In a statement, Lt. Gen. Roberto Ancan, commander of the Armed Forces Central Command, lauded the 94IB troops for the successful operation and thanked the local populace, the local government, and other stakeholders for their support.
“I would like to congratulate the Joint Task Force Spear through the 94IB for a job well done. Your bravery and hard work inspire the Negrenses to unite and stand against the cruelty of the communist-terrorists,” he said.
Maj. Gen. Eric Vinoya, commander of the 3ID, acknowledged the support of the local residents as well as the local government units and its officials in taking the lead toward safeguarding their communities from the NPA atrocities.
“They are very cooperative with our soldiers for they long for a peaceful Negros. Their Army will be relentless in pursuing these terrorists until genuine peace and development is achieved for every Negrense,” he added.
Col. Leonardo Peña, commander of the 302nd Infantry Brigade, also commended the 94IB troops for the successful operation made possible through the support of the locals, who provided them timely information.
“Government security forces continue their vigilance and tenacity to crush terrorist activities at the grassroots, which is vital in bringing peace to the communities,” he said.
The CPP-NPA is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines. (PNA)