Troops overrun NPA camp, 1 rebel killed

Rifle grenades and improvised explosive devices are among the items authorities seized in the clash in Echague town in Isabela on Tuesday (7 August 2018). (Photo courtesy of Army’s 5th Infantry Division)

A suspected New People’s Army (NPA) member was killed while a still undetermined number of rebels were wounded in two separate clashes in San Guillermo and Echague towns in Isabela on Tuesday.

Army soldiers engaged some 20 rebels in a two-hour gunfight in San Miguel, Echague town, while another team clashed with another NPA group in Rizal, San Guillermo town, resulting in the death of an NPA member, Captain Jefferson Somera, Army’s 5th Infantry Division spokesperson, told the Philippine News Agency on Wednesday.

Soldiers from the Army’s 95th Infantry Battalion seized five high-powered guns in the Echague clash while the body of slain rebel was found in San Guillermo town.

Also recovered were two bandoliers with magazines for M-16 rifle, two rifle grenades, three improvised explosive devices, four detonating cords, seven blasting caps, a handheld radio, a chain saw, seven backpacks with personal belongings, two mobile phones, assorted medicines, medical paraphernalia and subversive documents.

“Our troops were approaching the target area when fired upon by the (communist rebels). We managed to outflank the (rebels) and eventually overran their encampment,” Lt. Col. Nolito Quemi, 95th Infantry Battalion commander, said.

Some people tipped off the military about the location of the rebels, Brig. Gen. Bartolome Vicente Bacarro Jr., 502nd Infantry Brigade commander who supervised the operations, said.

Maj. Gen. Perfecto Rimando Jr., 5th Infantry Division commander, lauded the soldiers for their professionalism, which led to the “successful operation.”

“We also appeal to the rebels and their supporters in the area to help us help their wounded comrades. Our differences in ideologies should not prevent us from helping each other. Just send message to our troops and we will help your comrades get necessary medical attention. We are all Filipinos, remember that,” he said.

p: wjg