IMPASUGONG, Bukid-non — A government soldier died as fresh fighting between communist guerillas erupted anew in the outskirts of Malaybalay City in Bukidnon, a military report said over the weekend.
Capt. Norman Tagros, spokesperson of the Ar-my’s 8th Infantry Battalion, said that two separate armed encounters occurred in the outskirts of Malaybalay City on Wednesday morning and in the afternoon.
Tagros identified the lone fatality as Private First Class Randy G. Hulleza of the Army’s 8IB based here.
He said that the military deployed a combat team to the outskirts of the village of Lupok-lupok in Inda-lasa, Malaybalay, after residents complained of alleged extortion by armed groups in the area.
Tagros said the government troops could not determine if the communist rebels of the New People’s Army (NPA) suffered casualties in the two separate encounters.
He said that the combat operatives have reported of bloodstains along the withdrawal routes of the NPA rebels but failed to recover bodies.
According to Tagros, aside from responding to complaints about the presence of large armed communist groups in the area, the military also conducts regular combat patrols.
The combat patrols are necessary to preempt possible attacks by the NPA rebels on government installations and military outposts in Bukidnon, he said. (pna)