MEMBERS of the 31st Division Reconnaissance Company and 62nd Infantry Battalion (62IB) and cops from the Regional Mobile Force Battalion-Western Visayas encountered New People's Army (NPA) rebels in Sitio Tagmanok in Barangay Caradio-an, Himamaylan City, late Sunday evening, November 24.
Lieutenant Colonel Egberto Dacoscos, 62IB commander, said the three units were conducting pursuit operations in the area following the incidents in Isabela where NPA rebels barged into the house of a barangay captain, followed by a clash that resulted in the death of an NPA insurgent while wounding another.
The fight in Himamaylan City lasted for about 10 minutes until the rebels were forced to withdraw toward Barangay San Antonio and Barangay Carabalan.
Government forces did not suffer casualties in the battle, although they believe the insurgents may have suffered casualties due to bloodstains found in the encounter site.
Authorities seized 23 rounds of 7.62 caliber ammunition, an AK47 magazine assembly, two pairs of rain boots, a shirt with the logo of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), 10 meters of trip wire, two batteries, medical kits and the insurgents' personal belongings.
Dacoscos said the rebels are now desperate as they have encountered frustrations and embarrassments in the last few days.
Earlier, the Isabela Police Station was placed on "heightened alert" following the capture of seven suspected NPA insurgents during an encounter between the insurgent group and the 62IB in Sitio Canlusong, Barangay Cansalungon, Isabela.
The town has also signed a resolution last week declaring the NPA, along with the National Democratic Front, the political arm of the CPP, as persona non grata.