THE Revolutionary Proletarian Army-Alex Boncayao Brigade (RPA-ABB) engaged in an encounter with suspected members of New People's Army (NPA) in Bagong Silang Village, Salvador Benedicto, Negros Occidental Monday morning, October 2.
Colonel Elizear Losañes, commander of 303rd Infantry Brigade of the Philippine Army, said on Monday the NPA rebels encroached the area of the RPA-ABB that led to an encounter.
“The firefight lasted for about 30 minutes,” he added.
Losañes said the group of the late RPA-ABB commander Charlie Buli-Buli was involved in the encounter.
Buli-Buli was shot to death by nine unidentified men in the said village last July 8 on his way to his farm along with his 14-year-old nephew.
Losañes said three casualties were reported on the part of the rebel group.
He added that they deployed troops of 79th Infantry Battalion at the encounter site to validate and assess the situation.
Senior Inspector Jovito Bose, town police chief, said they retrieved a body from the encounter site near a river but they have yet to determine if the victim was a member of either group.
Bose said the fatality identified as 21-year-old Robert Selendrun was fishing in the river with his two companions when they heard a gunshot.
They ran away, but Selendrun was hit with a bullet. He died on the spot while his two companions were unharmed.
On the part of the police, Bose said gunfire was heard since Sunday evening but they did not consider it as an encounter.
Based on the initial investigation, Bose said Selendrun was a victim of a shooting incident.
They are continuously investigating the incident, he added.