THE Philippine Army claimed that a suspected member of the New People’s Army (NPA) was killed after the rebels engaged in an encounter against the elements of the 15th Infantry Battalion (IB) of the Philippine Army at Barangay Camalandaan, Cauayan town Wednesday morning, January 22.
Lieutenant Colonel Patricio Tomales, commander of the 15th IB, said they were implementing the Retooled Community Support Program in the area when they received numerous reports and sightings from local residents.
A 25-minute gun battle erupted between the two forces until the rebels were forced to retreat upon spotting the government forces advancing to their position.
Following the clash, several residents reported to the soldiers that they’ve seen the insurgents carry one of their members, a woman, whom they believe was already dead.
Government forces, meanwhile, recovered several belongings of the rebels in the area.
Among the recoveries were four rifle grenades and subversive documents. Several medical kits were also discovered in the encounter site.
Tomales added they believe the group they clashed with were led by NPA commanders Rennel “Kumpol” Cellon and Nilda “Gia” Bertullano, both members of the NPA’s Southwest Front.
The 15IB is currently conducting hot pursuit operations against the fleeing rebels. (TDE)