CASUALTY. Soldiers carry the body of a female rebel transported by a helicopter from the clash site in the mountains of Silvino Lobos, Northern Samar in this Sept. 20, 2022 photo. The female fighter died in a gun battle that happened in Senonogan de Tubang village, one of the communities that the rebels have been trying to recover in Silvino Lobos town. (Photo courtesy of Philippine Army)

TACLOBAN CITY – A female New People’s Army (NPA) fighter died in a clash with government forces in the upland village of Silvino Lobos, Northern Samar, the Philippine Army said on Thursday.

The unidentified rebel was killed during the 20-minute clash on September 20 in the remote Senonogan de Tubang village, one of the communities that the rebels have been trying to recover in Silvino Lobos town.

No one was hurt from the government side during the clash.

Lt. Col. Fernando Engcot, Philippine Army’s 19th Infantry Battalion commander, said soldiers also recovered an M16 rifle, explosives, subversive documents, a mobile phone, and notebooks after the gunbattle.

The troops acted on reports from residents of NPA’s plan to reorganize their mass supporters and punish those who surrendered to the government as well as army informants, Engcot said.

“The report prompted our troopers who are presently conducting focused military operations in the area to respond in order to protect the defenseless residents against the imminent attack of the said communist bandits,” he said in a statement.

Engcot said the recovery of a mobile phone and documents with high intelligence value will help unmask attack plans of the communist terrorist groups and identify their cohorts.

The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP)-NPA, which has been waging a five-decade armed struggle against the government, 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 also 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)