4 NPA rebels, soldier killed in Davao Oriental clashes
MANILA, Philippines – Four members of the New People's Army (NPA) and a soldier were killed in clashes Wednesday morning, January 29, in Davao Oriental.
According to the military, the communist rebels were attempting to recover a former stronghold in Sitio Matabang of Barangay Taocanga in Manay town, from where the military drove them away in 2012.
"The civilians in the barangay reported the presence of the NPA who were accordingly starting to extort from them. The civilians revealed that they do not want the NPA anymore in their place," said Captain Alberto Caber, spokesman of the Eastern Mindanao Command.
Caber said they recovered firearms, landmines, and documents from the NPA members.
The NPA has been waging Asia's longest running insurgency. The military puts the group's current number at "less than 4,000." (READ: PH military grappling with insurgency amid China tension)
The NPA is the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), which initially agreed to pursue peace talks with the Aquino administration. On its 45th founding anniversary in December 2013, it announced it was giving up on the negotiations. – Carmela Fonbuena/Rappler.com