High-powered gun, subversive files seized in Army-NPA skirmish in Iloilo

61st IB Photo

By Jennifer P. Rendon

A fresh skirmish erupted anew between members of the Philippine Army’s 61st Infantry (Hunter) Battalion and suspected New People’s Army (NPA) late morning of July 11 at Leon, Iloilo.

There was no casualty on the government side, the 3rd Infantry Division said in a press statement.

As usual, the 3rd ID said it is not discounting the possibility that there are wounded rebels owing to the bloodstains on their withdrawal route.

According to reports, the encounter occurred after the troops received information about the presence of armed persons in Barangay Camandag.

A short gunbattle ensued between the two groups.

After the smoke was cleared, Army troops recovered an AK47 assault rifle, seven backpacks, four smartphones, three keypad mobile phones, a tablet phone, personal belongings, and alleged subversive documents.

Prior to this, around 14 armed clashes occurred between government forces and the NPA rebels in the Panay area since Feb. 17, 2023.

Major General Marion Sison, 3rd ID commander, said that they have stepped up their offensive operations against the communist terrorist group (CTG).

“The Army in Western and Central Visayas will not stop hunting the remaining NPAs who are still hiding from the authorities,” he said.

He also recognized the unwavering support and cooperation of the local populace to the Army by giving timely and noteworthy information to the troops.

Sison also called for remaining NPA combatants to lay down their arms and surrender.

He assured that the military will be giving their all out for the surrenderees to avail of the government’s Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP) grant.

E-CLIP is a government program that aims to help the rebel members of CPP-NPA-NDF and Militia ng Bayan to restore their allegiance to the Philippine government.