The Revolutionary Proletarian Army-Alex Boncayao Brigade foiled a raid conducted by the New People's Army on its community in the boundary of Brgy. Bagong Silang and Brgy. Pinuwayan, Salvador Benedicto, Negros Occidental, its spokesman, Victorino Sumulong, said yesterday.
Sumulong said three teams of NPA fighters assaulted the RPA-ABB troops headed by Ka Andot at about 6 p.m. Sunday in the area.
He said the firefight lasted for 15 minutes and the NPA withdrew in separate directions.
A team of the fleeing NPA rebels crossing a river within the boundary of Brgys. Pinuwayan and Bagong Silang in Salvador Benedicto, were caught by pursuing RPA-ABB members, who opened fire at them, Sumulong added.
He said four of the fleeing NPA rebels were hit, and three of them are believed to have been killed.
But Mario Dulman, in an interview with Bombo Radyo, claimed that he and his two nephews, Reynold and Robert Selendron, were engaged in spear fishing at a river in Sitio Bayabas, Brgy. Bagong Silang, Salvador Benedicto, when they were fired upon.
It resulted in the death his nephew, Robert, Dulman added.
Reynold also denied that they are NPA members, and said no encounter had taken place.
Sumulong said the two who were claiming to be civilians traded shots with the RPA-ABB.
They were armed, he added.
Senior Inspector Joevito Bose, Salvador Benedicto police chief, yesterday confirmed the death of a person, although he withheld the identity.
Bose said they were not able to proceed immediately to the scene of incident, for security reasons.
Col. Eliezer Losañes, 303rd Infantry Brigade commander, yesterday said that they are still confirming reports that three NPA rebels have died.
Losañes also reported that the RPA-ABB did not incur any casualty.
Senior Supt. Rodolfo Castil, provincial police director of Negros Occidental, said yesterday that he received reports that one was killed and two were injured in the encounter.
Castil said they also sealed off the entrance and exit of Salvador Benedicto with checkpoints, in tandem with the Philippine Army and public safety forces.
The reported encounter took place as the NPA in Negros claimed responsibility for the death of RPA-ABB leader Charlie Boli-Boli in Brgy, Bagong Silang, Salvador Benedicto, in an ambush two months ago, and the ambush-slay of Jovanie Banista, RPA-ABB district commander of southern Negros, last month.
The RPA-ABB and its political wing – Rebolusyonaryong Partido ng Manggagawa-Pilipinas – entered into peace talks with the government in year 2000. However, the closure peace agreement between the RPA-ABB and government has yet to be signed.*GPB
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