SEIZED. Items recovered by army and police troops following an encounter with the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army rebels in Barangay Santol, Binalbagan town in Negros Occidental on Wednesday morning (July 6, 2022). Four communist rebels died during the clash, a report from the Philippine Army said. (Photo courtesy of 94th Infantry Battalion, Philippine Army)

BACOLOD CITY – Four Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) rebels died in a clash with government forces in the remote Barangay Santol in Binalbagan, Negros Occidental on Wednesday morning.

Army and police troops engaged at least 14 rebels after identifying their location in Sitio Amilis at past 9 a.m., a report from the Philippine Army said.

Lt. Col. Van Donald Almonte, commander of the 94th Infantry Battalion (94IB), said they were able to launch a successful operation based on the “timely and accurate information” provided by former rebels and other residents of Barangay Santol.

“This is a manifestation that the villagers no longer support the communist ideology,” he added.

As of posting time, the fatalities have not yet been identified, but they belonged to the NPA’s Central Negros 2, Komiteng Rehiyong-Negros Cebu Bohol Siquijor.

Troops recovered the bodies of the four rebels along with several firearms, various supplies, and personal items at the encounter site.

According to the 94IB, the NPA rebels were involved in the ambush of personnel of the Binalbagan Municipal Police Station in Barangay Bi-ao last February.

Two policemen were then injured when the NPAs detonated an anti-personnel mine by the roadside.

The rebels fired at the policemen who were responding to a call for assistance, and when they fired back, the enemy set off the landmine.

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.

The National Democratic Front has been formally designated as a terrorist organization by the Anti-Terrorism Council on June 23, 2021, citing it as “an integral and inseparable part” of the CPP-NPA created in April 1973. (PNA)