3 rebels slain in Batangas clash

By Zen Trinidad

June 24, 2024, 4:02 pm

<p><em>(Aerial image courtesy of 59th Infantry Brigade, Philippine Army)</em></p>

(Aerial image courtesy of 59th Infantry Brigade, Philippine Army)

CALAMBA CITY, Laguna – An armed clash between the Philippine Army’s 59th Infantry Battalion (59IB) and members of the New People’s Army (NPA) in Tuy town in Batangas on Sunday resulted to the deaths of three rebels and the recovery of firearms and explosives.

Brig. Gen. Cerilo Balaoro Jr., 202nd Infantry Brigade commander, said Monday members of the 59IB were sent to look into a tip from concerned citizens about the extortion activities of rebels in Acle village when the firefight broke out.

The soldiers traded shots with at least nine NPA rebels, he said.

Two rebels were killed during the first volley of gunfire, causing their comrades to try to flee, Balaoro said.

He said a third rebel was slain in the subsequent pursuit operation.

“The successful operation was a result of effective cooperation and coordination among agencies under Task Force ELCAC (End Local Communist Armed Conflict), from provincial to barangay levels. This collaboration empowered the community to decisively confront terrorist groups in their area,” he said.

Government troops recovered an M-16 assault rifle, an M4-type assault rifle, an Uzi sub-machine gun and explosives from the slain NPA rebels.

Reports said the slain NPA rebels are believed to be affiliated with the Sangay sa Partido Platun KAWING of Sub Regional Military Area 4C, Southern Tagalog Regional Party Committee, reportedly involved in foraging and extorting supplies from the community.

Balaoro said it is highly probable that some of the slain rebels' comrades were also hurt in the firefight.

“To the wounded NPA fighters, if any, we offer medical assistance and assurances for their safety,” he added. (PNA)