PUERTO PRINCESA CITY -– Two troopers from the 44th Marine Company of the 4th Marine Battalion Landing Team (MBLT 4) stationed in Barangay Pancol in the northern Palawan town of Taytay were wounded following a firefight with several suspected members of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) early Wednesday morning.

Colonel Vince Blanco, commanding officer of MBLT 4, confirmed to the Philippine News Agency (PNA) in an interview that he believes his troops have, on the other hand, seriously wounded a member of CPP-NPA during the firefight that started early morning in a secluded spot of the road in Pancol.

“Two of our Marines suffered from superficial wounds, and they have been brought to the Western Command hospital for treatment. I believe there’s one seriously wounded on the side of the rebels because our troops saw them carrying one while fleeing the site,” he said.

Blanco, who did not name the two wounded Marines, said the troops from the 44th MC were on their way to their home-base in Pancol from a Unity/Peace Walk at Poblacion, Taytay when they saw around seven rebels seemingly planting an improvised explosive device (IED) on the highway.

“Our troops saw them on approach as if they’re lodging something beside the road. They thought it felt different so they prepared, but the rebels managed to detonate the IED and then a firefight ensued,” he said.

Pancol is a fishing community in Taytay in northern Palawan adjacent to the Malampaya Sound Protected Landscape and Seascape. (PNA)