Soldiers, NPA rebels clash in Quezon; high-powered firearm seized
LUCENA CITY – Patrolling Army soldiers clashed with an estimated 25 New People’s Army (NPA) rebels in Catanauan town in Quezon province on Thursday, a regional military spokesman reported.
Lt. Col. Dennis Cana, spokesman of the Armed Forces Southern Luzon Command (Solcom) said, soldiers from the Army’s 85th Infantry Battalion engaged the rebels in Barangay (village) San Pablo Suha around 10:30 a.m.
Cana said the soldiers recovered an M-16 rifle left behind by the retreating rebels after the brief encounter.
The report said there was no casualty on the government side. “The casualties have yet to be determined on the communist terrorist side,” it said.
The military and police forces chased the escaping rebels and have also established checkpoints to block any mobile communist guerrillas.
Cana said concerned villagers tipped off the military about the presence of an NPA temporary camp in the area.
Last month, the Quezon provincial government declared the Communist Party of the Philippines and NPA, its military wing, as “persona non grata” in the province, once considered as a stronghold of Maoist-inspired guerrillas in Southern Tagalog.
The declaration was part of the renewed campaign by government forces to crush communist insurgents before the end of President Duterte’s term in 2022.
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