By Francis Wakefield
One soldier was killed while two others were wounded in two separate encounters against New People’s Army (NPA) rebels in Isabela and Abra over the weekend.
The Armed Forces of the Philippines-Northern Luzon Command (AFP-NoLCom), said the first encounter took place at about 12:50 p.m. yesterday.
It was learned that troops of the 24th Infantry Battalion, 5th Infantry Division of the Philippine Army, were conducting combat security operation in Barangay Alangitan, Tubo, Abra, when they were fired upon by 10 NPA rebels under the Kilusang Larangan Gerilya (KLG) Montes operating in the area of Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR).
A ten-minute firefight ensued resulting in the recovery of NPA personal belongings and wounding of two government soldiers.
The two soldiers, who were slightly wounded, were immediately evacuated to the nearest hospital for proper medication and treatment.
As this developed, another encounter took place at about 2:07 p.m. in So. Minanga, Barangay San Carlos, Echague, Isabela, which resulted in the death of a soldier of the 86th Infantry Battalion.
It was learned that the troops were conducting combat operation when they engaged 30 NPAs from the Komiteng Rehiyon-Hilagang Silangang Luzon (KR-HSL) Central Front.
The military said communist terrorists suffered undetermined number of casualties in both incidents.
As this developed, additional troops were deployed in the area purposely to conduct pursuit operations against the withdrawing dissidents.
All patrol bases were also alerted for possible harassment establishing checkpoints in their respective areas, together with the PNP units.
NoLCom said it would continue to conduct focused military operations (FMO) to address the communist terrorist threats against the people’s right to live peacefully and their hostile activities hampering the development in the area.