At least 6 soldiers killed, 6 wounded in clash with NPA in Samar
MANILA, Philippines (4th UPDATE) – At least 6 soldiers were killed and 6 others wounded in a clash with communist rebels in Calbiga town in Samar on Tuesday, April 23.
According to a report from the military, troops from the 46th Infantry Battalion were in "hot pursuit" of members of the New People's Army (NPA), the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines, in the hinterlands of the town.
The following were killed in action:
- Corporal Edgar Abing
- Private First Class (PFC) Arthur Garcia
- PFC Rufino Paster
- PFC Danilo Constantino
- Private Elbin Lagrimas
- Corporal Junerembran Mamalo
Among those wounded in action were the following:
- Sergeant Gilbert Benito
- PFC Darwin Magoncia
- PFC Mark Kevin Frigullana
- Corporal Raymark Vigilla
- PFC Joseph Salonga
- Private Rex Espanol
The military initially counted 9 from their team as wounded but later clarified that they have miscounted.
Earlier, during a phone interview with reporters, Army 8th Infantry Division Spokesman Reynaldo Aragones said the encounter began as early as 2 am on Tuesday when soldiers in the area received reports of communist rebels soliciting from locals.
“There is a presence of NPA conducting solicitation from people there, so our troops acted on it in Barangay Buluan, and an encounter transpired, where 6 died showing heroism,” Aragones said in Filipino.
According to Aragones, initial reports indicate that there were around 20 NPA rebels who shot it out with soldiers. It remains unclear how many from the other side got injured or killed.
“We only [saw] bloodstains. We are still trying to determine how many of them got killed or injured,” Aragones said. – with reports from Jazmin Bonifacio/Rappler.com