Police, Army troops guns in clash with rebels

By Jennifer P. Rendon

High-powered firearms were recovered after an encounter between government troops and suspected New People’s Army (NPA) members morning of March 31, 2023 in Janiuay, Iloilo.

Troopers from the Philippine Army’s 82nd Infantry Battalion and the 603rd Company of the PNP’s Regional Mobile Force Battalion (RFMB) 6 clashed with around five rebels at Sitio Pawara, Barangay Atimonan, Janiuay, at around 9:55 a.m. Friday, two days after the NPA celebrated its 54th founding anniversary.

The firefight lasted for about five minutes.

The troops subsequently seized an M16 rifle, a Garand rifle, personal items, and subversive documents with high intelligence value.

Prior to the encounter, police and military operatives conducted a Joint Enforcement Military, Maritime and Police Operation (JEMMPO) to run after local insurgents in the area.

The firefight was a result of a tip from residents about the presence of armed individuals in the area.

It was assumed that the five armed persons were members of the Baloy Platoon of the NPA’s Komiteng Rehiyon–Panay allegedly conducting extortion activities.

No one was hurt on the government side.