FIVE soldiers were killed and four others were injured in a fierce encounter between government forces and communist New People's Army (NPA) rebels in Bongabong, Oriental Mindoro on Tuesday.
The firefight between government troops pursuing the suspects responsible in the killing of a barangay council member and communist rebels in Barangay Hagan, Bongabong town lasted for 30 minutes.
"The troops were determined to get the killers, they fought bravely with their heart by dislodging the NPAs from their entrenched position. But sadly, we lost some of them," said the battalion commander Lieutenant Colonel Rodolfo Gesim.
Lieutenant Colonel Angelo Guzman of the Armed Forces Southern Luzon Command said communist rebels reportedly used land mines, which immediately caused damaged to the operation units.
Five security forces were killed in action.
Guzman identified the fatalities as Roland Bernal, Fulgencio Rolando, Christer Gadon, Garry Galindez and Ernesto Malubay.
The injured soldiers were identified as Mark Leo Nacion, Argie Capucao, Jesse Francisco and Meddy Gaban.
The Armed Forces of the Philippines assured that financial assistance will be provided to the families of the fatalities and to the wounded personnel who were already brought in Roxas, Oriental Mindoro for immediate medical attention.
The AFP launched a hot pursuit against the NPA rebels. (Sunnex)