BACOLOD CITY – A clash between government troops and communist-terrorists led to the death of a member of a New People’s Army (NPA) hit squad Special Partisan Unit (SPARU) in Barangay Minapasuk, Calatrava, Negros Occidental on Tuesday.
A report of the Philippine Army’s 79th Infantry Battalion (IB) identified the fatality as Jhonrey Pahayahay, based on the information by village chief Johnny Guilot, who said Pahayahay belonged to the SPARU of Northern Negros Front, Komiteng Rehiyon-Negros.
On Wednesday, the unit confirmed that Pahayahay’s body has been claimed by his family.
Lt. Col. J-jay T. Javines, commanding officer of 79IB based in Sagay City, said an undetermined number of communist-terrorists fired upon his men while they were conducting a security operation in Sitio Icugan at around 5 a.m.
Government troops returned fire and engaged the rebels for about five minutes.
Pahayahay’s comrades left his body as they fled in various directions, the report said.
After the clash, soldiers recovered a caliber .45 pistol and a caliber .38 revolver along with subversive documents.
Guilot said Pahayahay has been allegedly recruiting for his group and extorting from the locals, who then reported the presence of the armed group.
Meanwhile, Javines said the cooperation of village residents clearly shows their desire to completely eradicate communist insurgency in their community.
“They are already fed up. That is why we will not put our guards down and allow these terrorists to continue to sow fear among the local populace,” he added.
Javines renewed his call on the remaining communist-terrorists to lay down their arms and avail of the government’s Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program to lead a normal life with their families.
The Communist Party of the Philippines, together with its armed wing the 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)