Army soldiers yesterday figured in an encounter with suspected New People’s Army rebels in Brgy. Banwage, Guihulngan City, Negros Oriental, while barangay residents held a rally condemning atrocities perpetrated and claimed by communist rebels.
No casualty was reported on the government side during the gunbattle that lasted for 20 minutes, Brig. Gen. Ignacio Madriaga, 302nd Infantry Brigade commander, said.
Despite the running gunbattle, Madriaga said that a condemnation rally, which was participated in by Linantuyan barangay residents, was pushed through in the barangay.
Linantuyan barangay residents condemned the killing of CAFGU member Joseph Gabia, a resident in the area, by the NPA two weeks ago, Madriaga said.
Gabia, who was off-duty, was on his way back to his patrol base in Linantuyan after settling a family problem when he was killed by NPA Special Partisan Unit (Sparu) team members.
Madriaga said he believes that the rebels encountered by soldiers of the 94th Infantry Battalion are companions of the SPARU team members behind the summary execution of Gabia.
The Army soldiers, on board a military truck, were on their way to the rally of residents in Brgy.Linantuyan, when they chanced upon the group of communist rebels, estimated to be between five to seven, that triggered a firefight for about 20 minutes.
It had not determined as of press time if the NPA had suffered casualties, Madriaga said, stressing that no ambush had taken placecontrary to reports being circulated on social media.
The military claims that the NPA has killed 19 people in Guihulngan alone since last year.*
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