Three soldiers wounded in fighting vs alleged NPAs in Negros Occidental
Three soldiers were wounded in a 45-minute encounter with the alleged members of New People’s Army (NPA) in Negros Occidental on Saturday morning.
Capt. Cenon Pancito III, spokesman of the 3rd Infantry Division, added that soldiers and residents saw NPAs carrying bodies of their comrades.
“Heavy bloodstains were also found in the NPA position and route of withdrawal,” he added.
Pancito said troops of 79th Infantry Battalion were conducting combat operation when they encountered around 30 rebels at Sitio Morino, Barangay Paitan, Escalante City at about 6:45 am.
Pancito said the combat operation was made in response to the reported presence of rebels.
“The soldiers fought in a 45-minute running gun battle against the NPAs who used an anti-personnel mine in the process and who withdrew towards the forested portion of Sitio Sampinit of same barangay,” he said.
Pancito said the encounter resulted in the injury of three soldiers identified as Corporal Homer Aniversario, Corporal Ronald Tuhao and Corporal Jerald Caluyo.
He said Aniversario was injured in the upper left part of his neck while Tuhao was hit in a toe in his right leg; and Caluyo sustained a wound in the right ear.
“All soldiers were in stable condition and were brought to hospital for medical treatment,” said Pancito.
Pancito said the government forces “also recovered several subversive documents with intelligence value and one anti-personnel mine during clearing of the area and pursuit of the fleeing terrorist NPAs.”
He said following the clash the military deployed “additional soldiers and two helicopters of the Philippine Air Force” for pursuit operations.
Pancito added because of the clash “more or less 92 households were evacuated in Paitan Elementary School, Brgy Paitan, Escalante, Negros Occidental.”
“In response, the 79th Infantry Battalion led by Captain Rowell Dairocas the battalion Civil-Military-Operations Officer, organized a Quick Reaction Team together with Escalante City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office (DRRMO), City Health Office (CHO), City Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWDO), city and barangay officials to provide necessary assistance to said evacuees,” he said.
“The temporarily displaced families have undergone medical check-up, were given relief goods and “Disaster Assistance Family Access Cards” from the CSWDO,” he added. Robina Asido/DMS