Central Luzon

At least 7 suspected NPA rebels killed in Nueva Ecija military operation

Joann Manabat

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At least 7 suspected NPA rebels killed in Nueva Ecija military operation

RIFLES. Some of the firearms confiscated by the elements of the 7th Infantry Division during the encounter in Pantabangan, Nueva Ecija on Wednesday, June 26.

Contributed photo

The Philippine military claims NPA rebels in central Luzon, a former communist hotbed, are now 'scattered' and 'demoralized'

ANGELES CITY, Philippines – At least seven suspected members of the New People’s Army (NPA) were killed in an encounter with government troops in Barangay Malbang, Pantabangan, Nueva Ecija on Wednesday, June 26.

According to Major Jimson Masangkay, public affairs office chief of the 7th Infantry Division (7ID), three of the seven members of the Central Luzon Regional Committee of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP)-NPA killed have been identified.

Masangkay said the 84th Infantry Battalion of the 7ID encountered around 20 NPA members so it’s possible there were more rebels killed. However, the total number of deaths as well as their identities are still being verified.

No casualty was reported on the side of the military, he said.

“Sa ngayon, sa progress report meron pa pero wala pa sa akin yung actual na report. According to our ground troops, pero meron pa raw. Kanina lang, this morning,” Masangkay told Rappler in an interview on Thursday, June 27.

(Right now, there are more fatalities based on our progress report but I still don’t have the actual report with me. According to our ground troops, we still have, just this morning.)

“Tatlo palang yung naidentify kaya humihingi sana kami ng tulong dun sa mga nagsitakbuhan na mag surrender na para maidentify yung mga kasamahan nila na nasawi,” he added.

(There were three identified fatalities that’s why we wanted to seek help from those who ran away to surrender so we can identify their colleagues who died.)

The operating troops recovered three M-14 rifles, six M-16 rifles, one M-16 with M-203 attached rifle, and one low-powered firearm, as well as “subversive” documents and personal belongings, from the encounter site. 

Masangkay said the June 26 combat operations were conducted after an encounter in Alfonso, Castañeda, Nueva Vizcaya last Friday, June 21.

Nowhere to run?

According to Masangkay the rebels are already scattered in the area, seeking food, knocking on doors of the residents. He added that they are no longer trusted by the barangays they used to hold.

“Scattered na sila eh, demoralized na sila. kahit yung mga dating mga hawak nila na mga barangay before eh hindi na sila pinagkakatiwalaan,” Masangkay said. “Wala na silang lakas. Isolated case na itong mga ito. Wala na silang tatakbuhan.”

(They are scattered, they are demoralized. Even in the barangays they used to hold before, they are no longer trusted. They don’t have the strength anymore. These are isolated cases. So, they have nowhere to run.)

Pursuit and clearing operations continue at the encounter site to ensure the safety of the community, said Masangkay. – Rappler.com

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