THREE New People’s Army (NPA) rebels were killed in a clash with government troops in the province of Sultan Kudarat, the military reported Friday, March 3, 2023.

Major General Alex Rillera, Joint Task Force (JTF)-Central commander, said the clash happened Thursday, March 2, in Sitio Isuko in Banali village, Senator Ninoy Aquino, Sultan Kudarat.

Rillera said the clash ensued as the troops of the 7th Infantry Battalion under Lieutenant Colonel Frederick Chicote chanced upon 10 NPF rebels while checking on the reported presence of fully armed men conducting foraging activities in Sitio Isuko, Banali village.

He said the NPA rebels led by Eusevio Cranzo Tabunaway alias Ka Ben of the Regional Tax Implementing Group (RTIG) of the Far South Mindanao Region.

Rillera said the firefight resulted in the death of three NPA rebels, whose remains were abandoned by the comrades who fled to the hinterlands.

The remains were turned over to the local police for identification and post-mortem examination.

The troops also recovered at the clash site three M16 rifles, one M653 rifle, 13 long magazines, 330 rounds of 5.56-millimeter ammunition, two hand grenades, five bandoliers, one commercial radio, four backpacks, assorted foodstuff and personal belongings and propaganda materials.

Meanwhile, Lieutenant General Roy Galido, Western Mindanao Command chief, commended the JTF-Central troopers for the accomplishment.

“Rest assured that we will remain committed to resolving the long-standing aggression in our area of operation,” Galido said.(SunStar Zamboanga)