Four alleged rebels killed, one captured in twin clashes

The items recovered in Barangay Santol, Binalbagan, Negros Occidental, following a bloody encounter that claimed the lives of four suspected NPA rebels Wednesday. (Photo courtesy of 94th IB)

By Glazyl Y. Masculino

BACOLOD City – Four suspected members of the New People’s Army (NPA) were killed while another was captured in two encounters in Negros Occidental yesterday.

The slain rebels were among the 14 armed men whom troopers of the 94th Infantry Battalion (IB) and the police encountered at Sitio Amilis, Barangay Santol, Binalbagan town around 9:30 a.m., the area where the first armed clash happened.

According to Brigadier General Inocencio Pasaporte, commander of 303rd Infantry Brigade (IBde), the 94th IB, Provincial Mobile Force Company, and the 33rd Division Reconnaissance Company (33rd DRC) received a report on the alleged extortion activity of unidentified armed men in the area, prompting them to conduct a Joint Enhanced Military Police Operations (JEMPO) which led to the armed encounter.

The clash lasted for three minutes, with no reported injuries on the government side.

Pasaporte said that long firearms and a .45 caliber pistol were recovered from the slain rebels, who have yet to be identified.

Pasaporte said these rebels were believed to be part of the NPA rebels who ambushed the personnel of Binalbagan Municipal Police Station in Barangay Bi-ao in February, leaving two policemen wounded.

Accordingly, the information on the location of the armed men reportedly involved in the ambush of Binalbagan town police force early this year was revealed by the recent rebel who surrendered to the 94th IB and their former contacts, the Army said.

Three hours later, another encounter occurred in Barangay Marcelo, Calatrava town, which resulted in the apprehension of one alleged NPA rebel.

But the Army has yet to provide the name of the arrested rebel, as of this writing.

Pasaporte said troopers of the 79th IB clashed with at least seven alleged remnants of the dismantled Northern Negros Front (DNNF) around 12:30 p.m.

“Gusto nila i-recover or ma establish sila mass base nila sa Calatrava,” he added.

Military troopers recovered a short firearm and a rifle grenade.

Last month, the 79th IB overran an alleged hideout of the NPA at Sitio Tinibyangan, Barangay Minapasuk in the said town.