7 NPA rebels killed in Tarlac firefight with troops


CITY OF SAN FERNANDO — Seven New People’s Army rebels, some believed to be of “high value,” were killed in a firefight  in Camiling, Tarlac that began Tuesday night, a Philippine Army official said.

One of the seven fatalities in the clash in Barangay (village) Bubong 2nd is a woman, according to Colonel Henry Sabarre, commander of the 703rd Infantry Brigade based in Arayat, Pampanga.

No confirmation was immediately available from the NPA if any of its units was involved in the latest skirmish.

All the seven fatalities have yet to be identified, he said. As of 8:30 a.m. on Wednesday, their bodies were still at the encounter site, which Sabarre said soldiers from the Army’s 3rd Mechanized Battalion and police’s Public Safety Company encircled beginning 10 p.m. on Tuesday. Police investigators are at the site.

“We believe that some of them are high value targets because of the high level of weapons they carried that included a machine gun,” Sabarre told the Philippine Daily Inquirer by phone.

Two communist rebels managed to flee and were being pursued as of posting time.

Sabarre reported the capture of seven firearms, including the machine gun.

He said there were no dead on the side of the Army, police and civilians.

The 7th Infantry Division said the Army encountered communist rebels in Limay, Bataan two weeks ago, reporting that two leaders surrendered.

Major General Gregorio Pio Catapang, chief of the Armed Forces’ Northern Luzon Command, said the insurgency in Central Luzon, where the Communist Party of the Philippines and the NPA were established in 1968 and 1969, was at “minimal level” now.

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