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NEGROS OCCIDENTAL, Philippines – A soldier was killed, and another was wounded in a gun battle with suspected New People’s Army (NPA) rebels in Sitio Agdalusan, Barangay Jayubo, Lambunao town, Iloilo province on Tuesday, September 19.
In response, the town government of Lambunao suspended classes on Wednesday, September 20, at several schools.
Army Lieutenant Colonel J-Jay Javines, 3rd Infantry Division Public Office chief, said at least 10 rebels opened fire at a group of soldiers.
Javines said the soldiers from the Army’s 82nd Infantry Battalion went to the village after being informed by residents about an armed group.
The government and rebel forces exchanged firepower for about 20 minutes, the military said.
The rebels were identified as members of the NPA’s Baloy Platoon, Central Front, Kometing Rehiyon-Panay.
The military is withholding the identities of the killed and wounded soldiers, awaiting notification of their respective families as of posting time.
Brigadier General Michael Samson, commander of the Army’s 301st Infantry Brigade, extended his deepest sympathy to the family of the soldier who lost his life in the line of duty.
“This proactive and resolute response by the 82nd Infantry Battalion underscores their unwavering commitment to safeguarding the security and well-being of Lambunao’s residents,” Samson said.
During the operation, security forces seized two 5.56 mm M16A1 rifles, two caliber .45 pistols, a 5.56mm short magazine with 20 live ammunition rounds, personal belongings, and NPA documents.
Bloodstains at the scene were believed to be from the wounded communist fighters.
The encounter has disrupted classes at the Cabatangan Elementary School, Agsirab Elementary School, Agdalusan Primary School, Bagongbong Integrated School, Don Ignacio Ramirez Memorial School, WVSU College of Agriculture and Forestry, Jayobo Farm School, Tagbacan Elementary School, Sagcup Primary School, and Caguisanan Elementary School.
Major General Marion Sison, 3rd ID commander, said, “Even though we suffered casualties, this incident will not in any way dampen our spirit.” – Rappler.com