By Glazyl Y. Masculino
BACOLOD City – 260 individuals were evacuated from Barangay Camudlas, Bindoy, Negros Oriental, following a clash between government forces and suspected New People’s Army (NPA) at the said village last Thursday.
According to Major Franco Ver Lopez, Civil Military Operations (CMO) officer of the Army’s 303rd Infantry Brigade (IBde), 60 families were temporarily sheltered at Bindoy Central School in Poblacion.
They were already given assistance by the local government unit.
On April 30, troopers of the 94th Infantry Battalion (IB) and personnel of Bindoy Municipal Police Station encountered an armed group when they responded to reports of alleged extortion in the area amid the ongoing crisis on coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.
The 303rd IBde said government forces were on their way back to their base after conducting community security patrol when they received the report.
The clash lasted for 30 minutes, which resulted in the death of two suspected rebels. A soldier was slightly wounded.
Lopez said that they are still searching for the body of a third casualty.
He also said that they are still verifying if a civilian was also wounded in the clash, after some photos showing an injured man circulated on social media that day.
Authorities recovered from the encounter site a shotgun with live ammunition, a bandolier with magazines and live ammunition, two backpacks, a rifle grenade, six pairs of rain boots, medical supplies and paraphernalia, subversive documents, and other personal belongings.
Meanwhile, Colonel Inocencio Pasaporte, 303rd IBde commander, said that “this clearly shows that the terrorist NPAs are unwanted and despise in the communities especially by the populace who reported their presence. The populace is doing their part in order to make their communities peaceful and free from NPA influence”.
Pasaporte urged the people of Bindoy as well as the whole people of Negros Island to continue reporting the presence of NPA in their communities to prevent their extortion and other terroristic activities in the area.
We will be pursuing them relentlessly to maintain and preserve the peace and security in Negros Island, he said.