Three alleged NPAs killed in two-hour battle in Oriental Mindoro
Three alleged members of New People's Army (NPA) were killed while one soldier was hurt in a more than two hour firefight in Oriental Mindoro on Thursday, a military spokesman said Friday.
Capt. Patrick Jay Retumban, spokesman of the 2nd Infantry Division, said the encounter between 40 members of NPA and the combined military and police forces happened at the vicinity of Sitio Mawan, Panaytayan, Mansalay, Oriental Mindoro around 1:30 pm.
Retumban, said according to Brigadier General Marceliano Teofilo, commander of the 203rd Infantry Brigade, government forces were conducting focused military operation in response to reported activity of the rebels in the area.
"(We) received information from concerned citizen that the NPA terrorists in the area will conduct training to their newly recruited members of which some were believed to be minors. This prompted us to conduct Focused Military Operation (FMO) and our troops were able to locate their whereabouts, and fire fight broke”, said Teofilo.
Retumban said government troops also recovered materiel, including high powered firearms from the enemies.
"The troops were able to assault and seized enemy positions where they found the three lifeless bodies of the NPAs," he said.
"They have also recovered three M16 rifles, one AK-47, one cal.45 with two magazines, one grenade launcher tube, two improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and switch, three blasting cap, two cellphones (my phone analog with extra batteries) and assorted kinds of ammunitions after searching the encounter site," he added.
Retumban said one soldier sustained a minor wound in his left ear during the encounter.
He said the intelligence community is trying to find out if an alleged NPA commander was also killed.
Retumban said government forces, including K9 dogs, were conducting pursuit operation against the rebels.
"Check points are also being expanded in the area in coordination with the local police," he added. Robina Asido/DMS