By Erwin M. Mascariñas
Butuan City — At least four members of the New People’s Army (NPA) rebels were killed after an encounter against soldiers of the 36th Infantry Battalion in the town of Carmen, Surigao del Sur.
In a statement, the army’s 36th IB stated that the encounter happened in Barangay Cancavan, in the town of Carmen in Surigao del Sur, Sunday at around 1:00 pm. With the recovery of three AK-47 assault rifles; two M16 assault rifles, ammunition, and magazines, three mobile phones, and subversive documents.
The exchange of fires in a running gun battle lasted for about 15 minutes after which the NPA fighters scampered to different direction leaving their wounded and killed comrades behind.
Local’s from Carmen identified the area as a forested area but only more than a kilometer from the town center.
“Dylan was given first aid treatment to preserve his life after troops who scoured and cleared the area found him still alive and even revealed his false identity. Around 06:15 pm, troops successfully extricated the wounded along with his three dead guerrillas and was rushed immediately to Madrid District Hospital in the town of Madrid but was pronounced dead on arrival by the attending physician, Dr. Mary Michelle Paganpan,” said Captain Francisco P. Garello Jr, Civil Military Operations Officer of 402nd Infantry Brigade.
The 402IB identified the killed NPA as 18-year-old Dylan Ghem Padilla Jimenez from Barangay Adlay, Carrascal in Surigao del Sur.
“Even when wounded, the NPA rebel identified himself as Gealan P. Jimenez alias Jareb, 24 yrs old, but we later found out his real name from his mother and even suggested that he left home when he was still 17 years old on October 2018,” said Garello.
Ka Sandra Sidlakan, spokesperson of NPA front 21-30 confirmed the incident and acknowledged the death of those killed in the encounter.
“Sadly they were caught by surprise while taking a rest and cooking their meal, the rest of our comrades withdrew with no choice of leaving behind their fallen as they were overwhelmed by the situation,” said Sidlakan.
Sidlakan identified the killed members of the NPA as Raul Alacre from Agusan del Sur, Fe Doliente from Sitio Agsam, Barrio Kabas-an, Cantilan, Surigao del Sur, Elmer Somian from Umalag, San Miguel, Surigao del Sur and Dailan Jimenez from Purok 6, Adlay in Surigao del Sur.
Sidlakan, however, dismissed claims that Jimenez was recruited as a minor.
“The claim that Jimenez was a minor is false. He never joined the armed movement as a minor, he was already 18 years old when he became a full-timer in the armed movement,” said Sidlakan.