By Jennifer P. Rendon
One of the two soldiers who was wounded in an armed encounter between the Philippine Army’s 61st Infantry Battalion and suspected New People’s Army (NPA) in Tubungan, Iloilo has died, the 301st Infantry Brigade confirmed.
The fatality, whose identity is yet to be disclosed, was pronounced dead on arrival at a hospital in Iloilo City.
The other wounded soldier is now in stable condition.
The encounter between the 61st IB troops and around 15 NPA rebels happened at around 10:20 a.m. on Jan. 17 in the hinterland village of Igpaho, Tubungan.
In a press statement, the 301st IB said the skirmish happened after the troops responded to reports about the sightings of armed men in Igpaho.
According to Brigadier General Michael Samson, 301st IB commander, the rebels are believed to be members of Southern Front’s Puregold Platoon of the NPA’s Komiteng Rehiyon-Panay under Nahum Camariosa alias Bebong.
The firefight lasted for about 12 minutes. The rebels then scampered to different directions.
Samson said it’s highly possible that the local terrorists also suffered fatalities based on the evidence gathered from the encounter site and their withdrawal route.
Samson said the two wounded soldiers were airlifted to a medical facility in Iloilo City.
“It was unfortunate that one of our soldiers didn’t pull through,” he said.
Samson has already reached out to the family of the killed soldier.
“He made an ultimate sacrifice in the defense of our people and nation. Another hero sacrificed his life to give peace a chance,” he said.