Soldier dead, another wounded in clash with NPA in Iligan City
ILIGAN CITY—A soldier from the Army’s 49th Infantry Battalion was killed and another was wounded in clash with New People’s Army at the village of Kalilangan here last Saturday, Dec. 7.
In a report given only on Monday, or two days after the clash, Lt. Col. Edgar Allan Villanueva, 49th IB head, said Private Joel Espreso, 22, was shot in the mouth causing his instantaneous death.
Cpl. Crisanto Morales, 33, was wounded in the shoulder and brought to hospital.
The soldiers, both Bicolanos, were part of the 49th IB team reinforcing the 4th Mechanized Infantry Battalion in the area when they ran into a group of rebels, starting a 15-minute gunfight.
Brig. Gen. Facundo Palafox, head of the 2nd Mechanized Infantry Brigade, said since Dec. 1, the military had been sending more soldiers to Kalilangan after confirming reports that rebels were in the area.
On Dec. 3, city officials launched a task force in line with President Rodrigo Duterte’s order to end insurgency by the time he steps down in 2022.
The task force’s first move was to present 20 men that officials claimed were NPA members who had surrendered last March. Divina Suson and Richel Umel