A SUSPECTED member of the New People's Army (NPA) was killed, while two others were captured by the troops of 79th Infantry "Masaligan" Battalion during an encounter in Barangay Malasibog, Escalante City Thursday, July 15, 2021.
The troops were conducting security patrol after receiving a tip-off from the local residents about the presence of armed men when they were reportedly fired upon by undetermined number of NPA rebels. This prompted the troops to retaliate.
The military reported that the firefight lasted about five minutes, which resulted in the death of an NPA member identified by authorities as Wilson Yanog, Jr., a resident of Sitio Tinibiangan, Barangay Minapasuk, Calatrava, Negros Occidental. Captured members of the NPA were identified as Joel Manguiran and Jessie Labisto.
While scouring the encounter site, the military recovered one caliber 45 pistol; one 9-millimeter (mm) pistol; nine 9mm ammunition; nine cellular phones; backpacks with personal belongings and voluminous subversive documents with high intelligence value.
In a statement, Romulo Amacan, Punong Barangay of Barangay Malasibog, said he is grateful for the swift response of the men in uniform in addressing the insurgency problem in their village, stating that these rebels were conducting extortion activities and keep sowing fear to the communities.
Meanwhile, Lieutenant Colonel J-jay Javines, Commanding Officer of 79IB, attributed the success of the operation to the support of the local populace and local government units.
"Rest assured that your Philippine Army will be unrelenting in the pursuit of peace and development for the local populace in Northern Negros," he said.
Javines also called on the remaining members of the NPA to lay down their arms peacefully, live a normal life with their families and avail of the government's Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program.
"Armed struggle is not the key, but a big hindrance to attaining peace and development. Let us work together to build communities that are inhospitable to enemies of the state, free from fear, manipulation and exploitation by the CTGs,” Javines added."
The cadaver of the slain rebel was turned over to the Escalante City Police Station along with the two captured individuals for proper documentation and detention.