The New People’s Army Roselyn Jean Pelle Command has issued a statement yesterday denying that they incurred casualties in the May 15 raid initiated by the 79th Infantry Battalion in Sitio Puting Tubig, Brgy. Minautok, Calatrava, Negros Occidental.
While the military admitted that three Army soldiers were slightly injured in the gunbattle with about 30 NPA rebels, Brig. Gen. Benedict Arevalo, 303rd Infantry Brigade commander, earlier said that they received reports from the populace in the area that the NPA suffered five casualties, based on heavy bloodstains found in their defensive positions, that were later overran by Army soldiers.
Rebel spokesperson Ka Cecil Estrella even claimed in a statement she issued that seven Army soldiers died in the encounter.
As usual, fake news and lies again, Arevalo said.
He added that they are trying to hide their losses in that area with the recent encounters and surrenders.
“They want to project that their organization and masses are not losing and had to resort to cheap propaganda”, Arevalo also said.
Estrella further claimed that the Red fighters managed to escape without any casualty after about 30 minutes of firefight, with the help of the local populace.
Arevalo said they cannot hide their casualties. “In fact, we honor them as we have seen previously when I awarded our wounded in the hospitals,” he said.
The 79IB soldiers recovered from the encounter site a magazine containing eight ammunition of M1 Garand carbine rifle, three cellular phones, two cellular phone power banks, a pair of combat boots, a hammock and poncho, as well as 10 kilos of rice.
Estrella further claimed in a statement that their morale remains high to pursue the armed struggle, despite attacks launched by the 79IB against them.
“They (rebels) want to be relevant again and need to show accomplishments”, Arevalo said.*
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