116 families displaced after clashes in Kabankalan

Firearms and ammunition seized by military troopers following two clashes in Barangay Carol-an, Kabankalan City, Negros Occidental, last Monday. (Photo courtesy of 94th IB)

By Glazyl Y. Masculino

BACOLOD CITY – At least 116 families comprising 580 individuals were displaced Following two clashes last Monday between government forces and suspected New People’s Army (NPA) insurgents at Sitio Tagok, Barangay Carol-an, Kabankalan City, Negros Occidental.

Lieutenant Colonel J-jay Javines, head of the Division Public Affairs Office (DPAO) of the Army’s 3rd Infantry Division (ID), reported that the evacuees were temporarily sheltered at the barangay’s gymnasium.

Mayor Benjie Miranda, through the City Social Welfare and Development (CSWD), distributed food packs and water to the evacuees.

The initial encounter erupted around 3:39 p.m., as troops from the 94th Infantry Battalion (IB) conducted combat operations in response to reports from the community about the alleged presence of unidentified persons, believed to be remnants of the dismantled Central Negros Komiteng Rehiyon – Negros Cebu Bohol Siquijor (CN2, KR–NCBS-D). The firefight lasted about 10 minutes.

An hour later, military troopers engaged the fleeing armed persons in another clash. No injuries were reported on the government side.

The clashes led to the recovery of four assault rifles, 5.56mm M16, an assault rifle, 5.56mm carbine, two rifle grenades, two M16 magazines (one long, one short), a bandolier, and two backpacks.

Major General Marion Sison, commander of the 3ID, emphasized the importance of surrendering to the government and embracing peace.

“While you continue to struggle and fight against our government, may you also consider its consequences,” Sison urged NPA rebels to surrender.

Brigadier General Orlando Edralin, commander of the 303rd Infantry Brigade, expressed gratitude to residents and barangay officials for their invaluable assistance in providing timely information to the military.

Edralin noted that the encounter thwarted the NPA’s alleged plans to intimidate and extort indigent communities in the hinterland barangays of Kabankalan.

The 79th IB recently turned over to the police firearms and war materiel recovered during a series of encounters in Barangay Pinapugasan, Escalante City, in February.

The seized items included three carbine rifles, two Garand rifles, an M14 rifle, a .38 caliber revolver, four grenades, three short carbine magazines, a long carbine magazine, a Garand clip, an M14 magazine, a hand grenade, 10 rounds of carbine ammunition, three rounds of Garand ammunition, 13 live .38 caliber revolver rounds, and four empty shells of a .38 caliber revolver.

The 79th IB acknowledged the police’s invaluable support in investigating and properly accounting for the seized firearms as part of the legal process.


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