14 alleged NPAs killed in two encounters with police, military in Batangas
A total of 14 alleged New People’s Army (NPA) members were killed while six, including five soldiers, were wounded during two encounters in Batangas on Tuesday night, police said Wednesday.
According to the Batangas Police Office, government forces were validating a reported presence of armed men when they were fired upon by persons from a jeepney and a closed van at the vicinity of Sitio Pinamantasan, Brgy. Aga, Nasugbu around 8:30 pm.
Five of the attackers were killed and two were wounded, Batangas police said. Wounded were Major Engelberto Nioda Jr of the Philippine Air Force (PAF), 2nd Lt. Eliseo Incierto of the PAF and Technical Sergeant Kenneth Lopez of the Philippine Army, police added.
Batangas police said the wounded were evacuated to the nearest hospital.
Authorities recovered five long firearms during the first encounter. The second encounter happened in the vicinity of Sitio Batulao, Brgy Kaylaway also in Nasugbu and two kilometers away from the first battle.
Nine of the attackers were killed while no casualties were reported on the government side, Batangas police said. Seven long firearms and a M79 grenade launcher were recovered, police added.
Capt. Melchor Durante, public affairs chief of the Army’s 2nd Infantry Division, said the wounded military personnel “suffered minor injuries and are now in stable condition.” .
Durante said two slain persons were high ranking officials of the New People’s Army.
“Accordingly, the Secretary of the NPAs Guerilla Unit 3 and one platoon leader were among those who fought it out and got killed in the said encounter,” he said.
“According to Brigadier General Arnulfo Marcelo Burgos Jr, commander of the 202 nd Infantry Brigade which supervises the operations, the leadership vacuum brought about by the death of these NPA leaders signals the eventual demise of insurgency in Batangas,” he added.
Durante also noted that “the dead NPAs are believed to be remnants of the same terrorist group which suffered heavy casualties in September, including during an encounter with the elements of the 730 th Combat Group under... Nioda last November 20, 2017 at Brgy Utod of same municipality.”
He said the military and police are pursuing the alleged NPAs. Robina Asido/DMS