By FROILAN GALLARDO
and LITO RULONA
Soldiers from two Army brigades ganged up on a band of communist rebels in the boundaries of Lanao del Norte and Bukidnon Sunday.
The Philippine Army and the New People’s Army (NPA) offered different versions of the incident that took place in Talakag town, Bukidnon.
Brig. Gen. Edgardo de Leon, chief of the Army 403rd Infantry Brigade said two New People’s Army rebels were killed in an encounter with soldiers in Barangay San Rafael, Talakag town in Bukidnon Sunday morning.
He said the NPA band earlier figured with another encounter with soldiers of the 2nd Mechanized Brigade in Barangay Indulan, also in Talakag town.
“The were pushed by soldiers from the 2nd Mechanized Brigade toward us. We waited for them to make their withdrawal to our direction,” De Leon said.
The troops discovered the two dead bodies of rebels, two M16 rifles and one M14 rifle on the encounter site.
De leon said the fighting took place in the mountains away from the villages.
Earlier, “Roxane” of the NPA-Mt Kitanglad Command informed reporters that one of the units encountered soldiers belonging to the 51st Infantry Battalion killing one and wounding four of the troopers.
Roxane said the soldiers entered their area around 5 pm Saturday and a firefight ensued.
She said the NPA unit suffered no casualties and have successfully withdrew from the area.