TROOPS belonging to the Philippine Army's 10th Infantry Division (10th ID) launched on Friday a pursuit operation against suspected members of New People's Army (NPA) who attacked them in Maco town in Compostela Valley.
Captain Raul Villegas, spokesperson for the 10th ID, said the attack happened at 11 a.m. in Barangay Manggayan after residents in the area sought for assistance of the soldiers.
Villegas said around 300 residents of sitio Side 4 in Manggayan evacuated to Purok 17 at sitio Lubog in Barangay Ngan in Maco following the presence of the NPA rebels in the area.
"The displaced residents immediately reported their situation to the government troops nearby. The troops of the 25th Infantry Battalion responded to the call of the citizens, but while on their way sitio Side 4, they were attacked by the rebels," Villegas said.
Villegas said exchange of gunfire ensued that lasted for 10 minutes. No one was hurt during the incident.
Lieutenant Colonel Elmer Aterrado, commander of the 25th Infantry Battalion, said local officials and government troops accompanied the affected residents to Compostela Valley gymnasium.
"As of now, the local government unit is attending the needs of the people. Meanwhile, our troops are now looking for the NPA rebels behind the recent attack," Aterrado said.