Army soldiers repelled an attack by the New People’s Army in remote Brgy. Tacpao, Guihulngan City, Negros Oriental, after several minutes of gunbattle, Brig. Gen. Ignacio Madriaga, 302nd Infantry Brigade commander, said yesterday.
Madriaga said about ten NPA rebels opened fire on Army positions, using automatic rifles and rifle grenades, and also hit several houses of civilians in the area.
But the 94th IB troopers, who were on heightened alert, managed to stage counter-attacks against the rebels in three positions, in a gunbattle that lasted more than 15 minutes, Madriaga said.
The fleeing rebels abandoned their positions and left behind a .45 caliber pistol with ammunition, 13 magazines of an AK-47 and M-16 assault rifles with 218 rounds of ammunition, nine ammunition of an M-14 rifle, a Baofeng commercial radio and three NPA ball caps, he added.
Ka JB Regalado, spokesman of the Leonardo Panaligan Command, claimed in a statement yesterday that the simultaneous raids against Peace and Development Teams of the Philippine Army killed 12 soldiers, through command detonated explosives.
Regalado further claimed that the attack against the soldiers allegedly staying at a day care center and barangay hall in Tacpao, Guihulngan, lasted for about 28 minutes, with NPA rebels using explosives.
A simultaneous attack was also staged in Brgy. Binubuhan, Guihulngan City, with a firefight that lasted for 15 minutes, he further claimed.
But Madriaga said the army did not suffer any casualties, he also dismissed as fake news claims that there was a harassment of a military outpost in Brgy. Binubuhan, Guihulngan City.
Madriaga said bloodstains and gauze pads were discovered at the rebel abandoned positions and in their withdrawal routes, which indicated that some of them had been hit during their foiled attack in Brgy Tacpao, Guihulngan.
He slammed the NPA for disregarding human lives, saying they do not spare innocent civilians in their terroristic activities.
A day earlier, a rmed skirmishes also ensued between Army soldiers and suspected New People’s Army rebels in Sitio Pacama, Brgy. Magballo, Kabankalan City, Negros Occidental.
The running gunbattle lasted for about 15 minutes, and the 10 suspected communist rebels withdrew in separate directions, Col. Benedict Arevalo, 303rd Infantry Brigade commander, said.
Arevalo said the 15th Infantry Battalion soldiers stationed at the Dacongcogon detachment, who were still in pursuit of the fleeing rebels as of presstime, recovered a jungle knife, jungle bolo, assorted personal belongings and AK-47 assault rifle shells.
No casualty was reported among Army soldiers in the Kabankalan encounter.
Arevalo said the Philippine Army will continue to be on an offensive mode to prevent the NPA from conducting further terroristic and extortion activities.*
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