ENCOUNTER. A firearm with live ammunition, documents, food, and personal items were seized by troops of the Philippine Army’s 94th Infantry Battalion after a clash with Communist Party of the Philippines-New People's Army rebels in Barangay Buenavista, Himamaylan City, Negros Occidental on Wednesday (August 10, 2022). An unidentified NPA fighter was killed during the encounter, the Army said in a report on Thursday. (Photo courtesy of 303rd Infantry Brigade, Philippine Army)

BACOLOD CITY – A Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) rebel was killed during a clash with troops of the Philippine Army’s 94th Infantry Battalion (94IB) in the hinterlands of Himamaylan City, Negros Occidental on Wednesday.

The body of the still unidentified casualty is now at the Soledad Funeral Homes, the 94IB confirmed on Thursday afternoon.

In a statement, Lt. Col. Van Donald Almonte, commander of 94IB, said his unit dispatched troops to Sitio Bulasot in Barangay Buenavista after residents reported the presence of armed rebels demanding money and food.

The security operation on Wednesday morning resulted in an encounter between the soldiers and about 20 NPA fighters that lasted for about 45 minutes.

Almonte said the information on the rebels’ whereabouts was provided by former mass supporters who surrendered last July 2.

The rebels were also among those behind the ambush of police personnel in the neighboring Barangay Biao, Binalbagan town in February this year.

During the clearing operation, troops recovered an M16 rifle with four magazines and live ammunition, one magazine of M14 rifle with live ammunition, documents of high intelligence value, food supply and personal items.

“These NPAs are now like roving bandits asking for food and money by force and intimidation,” Almonte said.

He added that the encounter was a clear manifestation of the effective work of the Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict of Himamaylan City in creating a sustainable and progressive community, and bringing lasting peace to the city.

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 (NDF) 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)