2 soldiers die, 3 more wounded in Sorsogon clash with NPA rebelsBy Jonas Cabiles Soltes and Mar Arguelles
Inquirer Southern Luzon
NAGA CITY, Philippines—Two soldiers died and three more were wounded after a “fierce” gun battle erupted between soldiers and suspected communist rebels in Barangay (village) San Isidro in Bulusan town in Sorsogon Thursday morning, an Army official said.
Major Angelo Guzman, public information officer of the Philippine Army in Bicol, said the clash took place about 10 a.m. between 45 suspected members of the New People’s Army and soldiers from the 31st Infantry Battalion.
Two of the three wounded soldiers were rushed to the Sorsogon Doctors’ Hospital. One of the injured soldiers was critically wounded and had to be airlifted by the Philippine Air Force to the V. Luna Medical Hospital in Quezon City, Guzman said.
Killed were Private First Class Romy Dacuro, who died on the spot, and Pfc Michael Bigay, who was pronounced dead on arrival by an attending physician at the SDH.
Critically wounded was Pfc Jaypee Retardo. Also wounded were Corporals Rodel Llandelar and Rolando Cruzado.
“We are giving primary attention to the health of our wounded soldiers,” said Colonel Felix Castro Jr., Commander of the 903rd Infantry Brigade in Sorsogon. “We are very fortunate that our request to airlift Pfc Jaypee A Retardo was made possible,” he added.
The firefight lasted for about 20 minutes, Guzman said.
The rebels who fought came from an “elite force” of the NPA and were using at least four machine guns, said Guzman.
Guzman said the clash occurred after the Army attacked a rebel camp that houses a regional and provincial unit of the NPA.