By BEN SERRANO,
BUTUAN CITY — A soldier of the 75th Infantry Battalion based in Bislig City, Surigao del Sur province was killed while another soldier was injured after an armed encounter with red fighters around the vicinity of Sumitomo Fruits Banana plantation in Barangay Sta. Fe, Tagbina, Surigao del Sur at almost midnight, Friday.
A New People’s Army combatant was also killed in the gunfight.
In a phone interview over the weekend, Lt. Col. Rey Pasco, battalion commander of the Civil Military Operations of the Army’s 4th Infantry Division said about 10 to 15 fully-armed NPA rebels engaged a squad of the 75th IB in a fierce battle that lasted for almost an hour.
“An NPA rebel got killed –– whose remains have yet to be identified –– is still in the custody of the military and was brought to a mortuary in Tagbina town.
Pasco, who is based in Camp Edilberto Evange-lista, Cagayan de Oro City, said the 75th IB has yet to furnish the division its initial report of the battle including the complete name of the lone fatality and the wounded on the side of the Diamond troopers.
However, based on the initial official report of the 75th IB, the fleeing NPA rebels left behind a .45 caliber pistol, improvised explosive devices, some subversive documents, and alleged extortion letters with the NPA’s logo. The rebels also left their dead comrade.