AT LEAST 15 suspected members of the New People’s Army (NPA) were killed in an encounter against government forces in Nasugbu, Batangas.
Brigadier General Arnulfo Burgos Jr., commander of the 202nd Infantry Brigade, said elements of the 730th combat group established a checkpoint in the area as part of efforts to validate a report about the presence of armed men there.
The suspected rebels allegedly fired at the troops manning the checkpoint, leading to a gun battle.
Five suspected NPA rebels were killed while two others were wounded at the first encounter site in Sitio Pinamintasan, Barangay Aga, Nasugbu Batangas.
One of the wounded rebels, however, expired while undergoing treatment at the hospital.
Three soldiers were also wounded in the incident.
A second encounter transpired in Sitio Batulao, Barangay Kaylaway, Nasugbu which resulted in the killing of nine NPA rebels.
Assorted high-powered firearms, including an M79 grenade launcher, were recovered from the slain rebels.
Burgos said follow-up operations were being conducted by the military and police to hunt those who escaped.
Last week, President Rodrigo Duterte formally terminated the peace talks with the communist rebels and cancelled all the scheduled meetings between the government and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines, political arm of the Communist Party of the Philippines, following the attacks made by its armed wing despite the ongoing peace talks.
Duterte also tagged the NPA as terrorists for attacking government troops and getting innocent people killed. (SunStar Philippines)