Gov’t soldiers recover guns, explosives after clash with NPA in Negros Oriental
CEBU CITY —— Government troops averted a possible rebel attack and recovered firearms and explosives in Sitio Baliw, Barangay Bagtic, Mabinay town in Negros Oriental on Friday.
Major Abel Potutan, acting spokesperson of the Armed forces of the Philippines’ Central Command (Centcom), said members of the 15th Infantry Battalion were conducting “community support programs” in the village when the rebels allegedly tried to ambush the troops.
Lieutenant Col. Patricio Tomales, commanding officer of the battalion, in a statement, said a concerned citizen tipped off the soldiers about the supposed plan of the New People’s Army to disrupt the programs “intended for the people in that community.”
Tomales said he immediately told his troops to act on the report.
No casualty was reported from both camps.
But Tomales said blood stains along the rebel’s withdrawal route suggested that the rebels suffered bullet wounds during the firefight.
“We were able to hit the enemy for about 30 minutes and later pushed them out of the encounter site,” he said.
Recovered from the rebel camp were an M16 rifle with 11 magazines, one anti-personnel mine, one rifle grenade, one commercial radio, personal belongings, and anti-government documents.
Lt Gen. Noel Clement, head of Centcom based in Cebu City, said he was happy that the soldiers evaded a possible ambush.
“This victory is a testimony of courage coupled with strong determination of our troops who are helping the Local Government Units ensure full implementation of programs that will alleviate the socio-economic problem affecting their localities,” he said in a statement./lzb
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