3 NPA rebels slain in running battle in Quezon
LUCENA CITY, Quezon City, Philippines – Three alleged communist rebels were killed in an encounter with government forces on Sunday afternoon, Jan. 29, in San Francisco town in Quezon province, according to the Quezon Police Provincial Office.
As of this writing, the battle has not ended.
The clash started on Friday afternoon, Jan. 27, when the government troops — a joint team of police officers and Army soldiers — were conducting hot pursuit operations against 10 to 15 New People’s Army rebels who had been involved in a clash in the neighboring town of San Andres.
They chanced upon the fleeing communist guerillas in Barangay Huyon-Uyon at around 5:30 p.m. The encounter lasted for 45 minutes.
Pfc. Johnson Carlos, got a bullet wound in his leg but is now in stable condition.
The police said three NPA rebels were killed in the battle on Sunday.
The troops recovered three AK-47 rifles from the dead rebels.
In a Facebook post on Sunday at 5:46 p.m., the Army’s 85th Infantry Battalion said one of the three slain rebels was Joseph delos Santos, alias Ka Ken or Bingot — the alleged leader of the communist guerrillas in the earlier battle in San Andres.
The other two slain communist guerillas were not identified.
On Saturday, the 85th Infantry Battalion posted on Facebook that it was confirming an intelligence report that at least four communist guerrillas died in the San Andres battle and that their bodies were carried away by their comrades.
The soldiers recovered at the encounter site bomb-making components, a mobile phone, and personal belongings left behind by the fleeing rebels.
Meanwhile, the continuing military operations against the rebels had displaced frightened civilians in San Andres, Maj. Arnold Conciso, chief of the San Andres Municipal Station, said on Sunday.
At least 20 villagers were temporarily sheltered in an evacuation center at the town proper. They were being taken care of by local social workers.
“Another three families evacuated to another sitio far from the encounter site in Barangay Pansoy,” Conciso said in a phone interview Sunday morning.
San Andres and San Francisco are located in the Third District of Quezon, in the Bondoc Peninsula, a known former NPA bailiwick in the Southern Tagalog Region.
The Army’s 201st Infantry Brigade said the NPA rebels operating in the district were forced to transfer their operation to the neighboring Camarines Norte province in the Bicol Region sometime last year due to an intensified government anti-insurgency operation.