A member of the New People’s Army (NPA) was killed while two soldiers were wounded in the encounter between communist rebels and the Army’s First Special Forces Battalion in a forested area in Pangantucan, Bukidnon.
Capt. Norman Tagros, spokesperson of the Army’s 403rd Infantry Brigade, said the soldiers were conducting a security patrol in the area in response to complaints of residents that armed men were extorting and intimidating them Tuesday.
Tagros said a 30-minute firefight ensued after more or less 10 NPA members opened fire on the patrolling troops, resulting in the death of one rebel believed to be a member of the Guerilla Front 68 of the North Central Mindanao Regional Committee.
Two soldiers sustained minor injuries and are now undergoing treatment at the military hospital in Camp Evangelista, Cagayan de Oro City.
Tagros said the troops also seized an M16 rifle with an attached M203 grenade launcher, an M16 rifle, M14 rifle, a barrel of an M60 machine gun, eight landmines, hand grenade, and assorted live ammunition.
Lt. Col. Sergio Macarandan, commanding officer of the First Special Forces Battalion, assured that the military, together with the police and local officials, will continue to secure the communities from armed groups such as the NPA.
“The encounter that transpired Monday was a result of the cooperation and collaboration of our state security forces, our local populace, and the local government unit of Pangantucan, Bukidnon,” Macarandan said in a statement. (pna)