Soldier wounded, 355 residents displaced in clash 

Colonel Orlando Edralin, commander of 303rd Infantry Brigade (IBde) pins a Wounded Personnel Medal on a soldier in a hospital in Bacolod City following a clash with suspected New People’s Army (NPA) in Barangay Carabalan, Himamaylan City, Negros Occidental Wednesday. (Photo courtesy of 303rd IBde)

By Glazyl Y. Masculino

BACOLOD City – A soldier was wounded while 81 families composed of 355 individuals were displaced in a clash between the Army’s 94th Infantry Battalion (IB) and suspected New People’s Army (NPA) in Barangay Carabalan, Himamaylan City, Negros Occidental yesterday.

Colonel Orlando Edralin, commander of the 303rd Infantry Brigade (IBde), pinned the Wounded Personnel Medal to the wounded soldier in a hospital here.

The medal symbolizes risk of life, honor, nobility, and devotion to duty.

According to a report from the 94th IB, a concerned citizen reported the presence of NPA rebels allegedly extorting food and supplies from the residents in the area.

Military troopers responded and conducted Community Security Patrol that led to the armed encounter with about 20 unidentified persons. The firefight lasted for 20 minutes.

Based on the data from the City Social Welfare and Development, 32 families or 154 individuals from Sitio Cabalungan, 31 families or 139 persons in Sitio Canagbaan, three families or five individuals in Sitio Florete, and 15 families or 57 individuals in Sitio Daat, were evacuated to the barangay covered court.

The local government and the City Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWDO) have distributed relief goods to the affected residents.

Lieutenant Colonel Van Donald Almonte, 94th IB, said that this encounter demonstrates the commitment of the 94th IB to protect and serve the people of Himamaylan.

The 94th IB will continue to conduct community security patrols to ensure the safety and security of the people of the province, Almonte said.

Last year, the 94th IB and the 62nd IB clashed with NPA rebels in a series of encounters in Barangay Carabalan in October that killed an NPA leader and two other rebels.