EVACUATION. Displaced residents stay in modular tents at the covered court of Barangay Oringao in Kabankalan City, Negros Occidental following armed clashes between government troops and communist rebels. As of Sunday (Feb. 5, 2023), 822 individuals from 283 families are staying in the evacuation site. (Courtesy of Kabankalan City-DRRMO)

BACOLOD CITY – Hundreds have fled their homes amid the ongoing armed clashes between troops of the Philippine Army's 94th Infantry Battalion (IB) and New People's Army (NPA) rebels in the remote village of Oringao in Kabankalan City, Negros Occidental.

Data released by Mayor Benjie Miranda showed that as of 6 p.m. on Sunday, 822 individuals from 283 families, are staying in the village covered court.

"Another encounter transpired between troops of 94IB and more or less 15 members of the NPA on Feb. 5," the battalion reported at past 10 a.m. on Sunday.

The initial encounter took place on Saturday.

The report added the soldiers engaged the rebels during security patrol operations after receiving reports of extortion and harassment.

On Saturday night, the City Department of Social Welfare and Development and Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office installed modular tents and distributed food assistance to affected residents from three sitios (subcommunities) -- Mansawin, Nabalikan and Pitgong.

Last month, more than 200 residents of Purok Malipayon, Barangay San Jose, Sipalay City, also in southern Negros, were displaced following two armed clashes between 15IB troops and NPA rebels.

The first encounter on Jan. 18 took place in the hinterlands of Barangay Camalandaan, Cauayan town, followed by another clash later in the afternoon in adjacent Purok Malipayon during the pursuit operations for some 20 rebels. (PNA)