Google map of Balingasag municipality, Misamis Oriental.

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY—A clash between communist rebels and government troops Monday in the Misamis Oriental town of Balingasag resulted in the death of two insurgents.
In a statement Tuesday, the Army's 58th Infantry Battalion (58IB) said the 10-minute armed encounter ensued after the soldiers chanced upon a group of 10 New People's Army (NPA) in Barangay Kibanban, Balingasag.

Lt. Col. Christian Uy, 58IB commander, said the gunfight led to the seizure of an M16 rifle, an M653 rifle, a Cal .22 rifle, personal belongings, assorted medical paraphernalia, and subversive documents.

Uy said a pursuit operation is still ongoing as of Tuesday.

The NPA casualties, who have yet to be identified, were transported to a local funeral facility in Balingasag.

"We will not cease continuing our concentrated military operations to eradicate the local insurgency in the province," Uy said. (PNA)

Aid for ex-rebels

Meanwhile, in the province of Bukidnon, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) distributed PHP15,000 each as immediate assistance to 77 former rebels. At least 59 of them also received additional livelihood assistance worth PHP50,000 each.

The aid is part of its Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP), distributed at the Army's 403rd Infantry Brigade headquarters in Malaybalay City.

Rhona Pedraza-Abadilla, provincial director of DILG-Bukidnon, said the E-CLIP is a government program to help former members of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People's Army-National Democratic Front and the Militia ng Bayan as they transition to civilian life.

"Through E-CLIP, they can be integrated back into the community, be with their families, and start over with their new, normal lives," Abadilla said. (PNA)