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NPA rebels undermined in Ilocos firefight

by Freddie G. Lazaro

NARVACAN, Ilocos Sur, Philippines (PIA) — A number of New People’s Army (NPA) rebels were undermined by the government troops in an encounter in the mountainous areas in Barangay Remedios, Cervantes, Ilocos Sur last Friday.

Colonel Eliseo Posadas, Commander of the Army’s 503rd Brigade, narrated that the firefight occurred at about 8:00 a.m.

“Before the encounter, our troop from the Charlie Company of the 50th Infantry Battalion, were conducting foot patrol after we received reports from local folks about the presence of unnumbered fully–armed men believed to be members of the NPA’s Kilusang Larangang Guerilya (KLG) Montes in the area,” Posadas said.

He said that when the soldiers reached the mountainous areas in Barangay Remedios, they saw armed men roaming at the area that prompted them to call for their surrender but the rebels resisted that resulted into a gun battle.

The encounter lasted within three (3) hours after the soldiers gained the vantage position forcing the rebels to run from the encounter site dragging their wounded comrades, as shown on the scattered bloodstains along their withdrawal routes.

During the clearing operations, the soldiers recovered one (1) M-14 rifle and one (1) M-16 rifle with bloodstains.

Posadas added that two (2) suspected NPA rebels, whose names are withheld pending their tactical interrogation, were arrested by joint elements of the army and the police during the clearing operation at the encounter site.

On the side of the government, Posadas identified that one (1) soldier was hurt in the person of Private First Class (PFC) Jessie Camacho, a member of the army’s 50th Infantry Battalion based in Abra province.

He said that Camacho was already out of danger with only superficial wound after he was hit with shrapnel during the encounter.

Posadas said that hot pursuit operation against the fleeing NPA rebels is being conducted who were believed to be operating in the mountainous areas in the tri-boundary of Ilocos Sur, Abra and Mountain Province.