Troops, rebels clash in Calatrava

THREE soldiers belonging to the 79th Infantry Battalion inflicted slight abrasions on the hands and near the armpit after the troop clashed with about 30 suspected members of the New People's Army in Barangay Minautok, Calatrava around 5:30 a.m. Wednesday, May 15.

Based on the report of the military, even before the election period started, the Army already monitored the presence of the NPA rebels from the reports of the local populace.

Upon confirmation of the NPA location, a platoon was sent to conduct combat operations in Sitio Puting Bato, Brgy Minautok, Calatrava.

The firefight lasted for about an hour after which the enemy scampered to different directions.

The military suspects that there were five NPAs killed as indicated by the heavy bloodstains found in the NPA defensive positions and based on the reports from the locals, but are still subject for further validation.

The NPAs also left behind one magazine with eight ammunition for Garand Carbine rifle, three cellular phones, two power banks, one memory card, one SIM card, one pair of boots, one hammock, one poncho, 10 kilos of rice, and spices used for cooking.

Lieutenant Colonel Emelito Thaddeus Logan, commanding officer of 79IB, said, "The continuous encounters against the terrorist NPAs in the area prove that the communities no longer wanted the enemies’ presence here. The 79IB will relentlessly pursue the NPAs and stop their illegal and extortion activities. Nonetheless, the Army gives chance for them (NPA) to surrender peacefully and enjoy the government’s offer towards living normal lives again with their families."

The incident was the second encounter in Calatrava since April 17 in Barangay Marcelo where three NPA rebels were killed, two rifles recovered and several NPAs wounded, the third government initiated encounter in the area of 79th IB since January this year.


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