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NEGROS OCCIDENTAL, Philippines – Soldiers from the Army’s 15th Infantry Battalion engaged in a firefight with a band of alleged communist rebels in Sitio Tunap, Barangay San Jose, Sipalay City, Negros Occidental, on Saturday, September 16.
The troops were acting on reports of rebel extortion in the area and engaged the 15 alleged communist rebels in a 10-minute firefight, the military said.
According to the military, the alleged rebels belonged under the Southwest Front Komiteng Rehiyon-Negros, Cebu, Bohol, Siquijor (SWF KR-NCBS), a group which the authorities claimed as weakened.
The state forces seized a .45 caliber pistol with magazines and ammunition, a homemade shotgun, a cellphone with a memory card, medical paraphernalia, a transistor radio, other personal belongings, and subversive documents.
No casualties were recorded from the government side, the military said.
The City Social Welfare Development of Sipalay City also assisted and assisted 5 families – or 13 individuals – in a neighboring sitio of Patio-tio, who sought safe grounds to avoid being caught in the crossfire.
Major General Marion R. Sison, 3rd Infantry Division Commander, lauded the persistent and unwavering determination of the troops to protect civilians in the province of Negros Occidental.
In a separate statement, 15th Infantry Battalion Commander Lieutenant Colonel Michael Cuarteros said the Army will continue to intensify its efforts to bring lasting peace to its area of operation. – Rappler.com