Army-NPA clash results in four fatalities, one wounded

Four persons died while another was wounded in the recent skirmishes between the Army and NPA in San Joaquin, Iloilo this week. (301IB photos)

By Jennifer P. Rendon

Another body of a suspected New People’s Army (NPA) combatant was found following an encounter between Philippine Army troops and NPA rebels at San Joaquin, Iloilo.

The body of Rena Rhea Camariosa alias Kira was found at a nipa hut in Barangay Camabaan, San Joaquin, Iloilo, around 7 a.m. on February 29, marking her as the fourth casualty of the conflict that began in the early hours of February 28 at Barangay Torocadan, San Joaquin.

Brigadier General Michael Samson, commander of the 301st Infantry Brigade, said Camariosa’s body was located more than 27 hours later and about five kilometers from the site of the clash.

“Had she been left by her comrades to be able to seek medical attention, she could have survived,” he remarked.

Shortly after the discovery of Camariosa’s body, Rosel Esmediana, a 23-year-old wounded female NPA rebel, was handed over to the San Joaquin Municipal Police Station by Barangay Captain Alfred Sambayan of Camabaan village.

Esmediana, a Periodic Status Report (PSR)-listed member of the SM Squad, Puregold Platoon of the NPA’s Komiteng Rehiyon-Panay, and a resident of Barangay Alimodias, Miagao, Iloilo, was promptly taken to San Joaquin Mother and Child Hospital for treatment.

It should be noted that three other suspected NPA members were killed in a confrontation with the 61st Infantry Battalion on Wednesday.

Among the deceased were Jonathan Sanogal, also known as Jeros, from Barangay Langca, San Joaquin, and Mario Reovoca, also known as Mike/Jaguar, along with Patrick Reovoca, both from Barangay Alegre Sebaste, Antique.

The authorities are currently verifying the relationship between Mario and Patrick.

In the meantime, General Samson assured the public of proper management of the situation and extended his deepest sympathies to the families of the deceased rebels.

The initial fatalities occurred during a 20-minute firefight. The rebels also abandoned armaments and personal items at the scene.

Samson reported that the 61st IB troops took control of an NPA camp, which housed ten makeshift tents.

Following this incident, the 301st IB reported another encounter at around 10:15 a.m. on Thursday with fleeing NPA members at Barangay Roma, San Joaquin.