TACLOBAN CITY - A member of the New People's Army (NPA) was killed in a clash with soldiers on the outskirts of Catubig, Northern Samar, Thursday.
The unidentified armed rebel belonged to a band of 10 insurgents that engaged in a 10-minute gun battle with members of the Philippine Army's 20th Infantry Battalion in upland Anongo village in Catubig town.
Lt. Col. Joemar Buban, Army's 20th IB commander, said soldiers were deployed to carry out the mobile community support and sustainment program operations in the village when they encountered remnants of the Front Committee-15, sub-regional committee, Eastern Visayas regional party committee.
"They were known for their involvement in intimidating, making grave threats, and extorting from the local populace and small businesses in Northern Samar communities," Buban said in a statement.
After the brief clash, the rebels retreated, leaving behind their slain comrade and war materiels, including four backpacks, two hammocks, one 30-round magazine assembly, an M203 empty shell, ammunition, slippers, a cauldron, a water container, a pair of rainboots, and subversive documents.
There are about 10 army battalions assigned in Samar province as the government heightened its fight against communist insurgents.
Only two NPA guerilla fronts in Samar Island remain in existence after the dismantling of one front and the weakening of another early this year. (PNA)