Suspected NPA rebel killed in Occidental Mindoro clash
LUCENA CITY — A suspected communist rebel was killed in a clash with government soldiers in Sta. Cruz town in Occidental Mindoro province on Sunday, a military official in Southern Luzon said on Monday.
Major Gil Perez of the military’s Southern Luzon Command (Solcom) said soldiers from the Army’s 76th Infantry Battalion clashed with more than 20 New People’s Army (NPA) rebels in Barangay Pinagturilan, Sta. Cruz at 2 p.m.
He said a still unidentified NPA rebel was killed in the 30-minute firefight. Soldiers also recovered a .45-cal. pistol, bullets, two improvised explosive devices, antigovernment documents and personal belongings from the clash site.
The body of the slain rebel was turned over to the Sta. Cruz police station for identification.
Perez said residents in the village informed the military of the presence of NPA rebels in their community.
Lt. Gen. Ferdinand Quidilla, Solcom commander, said units of the Armed Forces of the Philippines in Southern Tagalog and Bicol regions had resumed offensives against communist rebels following the government’s termination of its unilateral ceasefire against the NPA.
“We assure you that our troops will conduct our tactical operations within the bounds of the AFP rules of engagement and respect for human rights and rule of law at all times,” Quidilla said in a statement.
President Duterte scrapped peace talks with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines after ending the government’s unilateral ceasefire last week. The President cited the deaths of soldiers in NPA attacks as a reason for lifting the ceasefire and ending the peace negotiations.
Perez said the provinces of Quezon, Sorsogon and Masbate remain the military’s “priority areas” in its anti-insurgency campaign. CBB
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