THREE suspected members of a communist insurgent group were killed in an encounter with government troops in Mexico town in Pampanga province Friday morning.

Lieutenant Colonel Rogelio Mesias, spokesman of the Army’s 7th Infantry Division, said troops from the 703rd Brigade were deployed at Sta. Cruz village following information of rebel presence in the area.

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He said the troops, backed by police elements, caught up with the rebels belonging to Marxist Leninist Proletariat Party-Rebolusyonaryong Hukbong Bayan around 5:15 a.m.

The MLPP-RHB broke out from the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) in the early 90s.

After a one hour firefight, troops recovered the bodies of three rebels while no casualty was recorded in the government side.

Also recovered from the area were two M16 rifles, an M203 grenade launcher, a cal. 45 pistol, and ammunition for M203.

“This is a planned operation. We had sightings of the rebels, prompting us to launch the operations in coordination with the PNP. Their presence was reported by the civilians,” said Mesias. (VR/Sunnex)