A CLASH between the government forces and the New People’s Army (NPA) rebels took place in the province of Zamboanga del Sur, the military said Wednesday, February 8.

Western Mindanao Command (Wesmincom) information officer Jo-ann Petinglay said the clash occurred around 1:15 p.m. Wednesday in the village of Mati, Tigbao, Zamboanga del Sur.

Petinglay said it lasted for about seven minutes after which the NPA rebels, belonging to the Sandatahang Yunit Panggubatan Kara of the NPA’s Western Mindanao Regional Party Committee, fled to different directions.

The information officer said the clash ensued when the troops chanced upon the NPA rebels following receipt of intelligence report about the presence of the rebel group in the village of Mati, Tigbao,

She said the troops have recovered four units of mobile phones, ammunitions for AK-47 rifle and caliber .45 pistol, medical kits, and backpack with personal belongings and documents of high intelligence value.

Petinglay added the troops are tracking down the fleeing NPA rebels.

The military continues to assist the police and the local government units in the intensified conduct of law enforcement operations to expedite the arrest of NPA members in Zamboanga del Sur.

“We will not allow the NPA to create fear and havoc in any of the communities under Wesmincom area of operations, we will make them want to surrender and go back to the folds of the government,” Wesmincom Chief Carlito Galvez Jr. said. (Bong Garcia/SunStar Philippines)