By Dave Albarado
Tagbilaran City— Local military leaders confirmed that the armed group that clashed on Tuesday with Army soldiers in a town in Bohol are guerrillas from the New People’s Army (NPA).
Despite the clash, Bohol remains insurgency-free, said Col. Ignacio Madriaga, commanding officer of the 302nd Infantry Battalion.
The NPA group was allegedly led by certain Domingo Compoc, a known leader of the communist rebels in the area, Madriaga said.
Compoc’s group is known to maintain a presence in the area where the encounter happened.
He is reportedly a native of Barangay Dagohoy in Bilar town.
Compoc is a wanted man, with arrest warrants for various charges, Madriaga said.
Several citizens reported sighting Compoc and his men in the rural areas of Bilar town days before the town fiesta on Tuesday.
The Army sent troops to Bilar to check out the report.
The soldiers and the rebels exchanged fire for about an hour in Sitio Ilaud, Barangay Campagao. Madriaga said.
Compoc thought he had the support of the community, but it was the residents who reported his presence to the authorities, he said.
The people’s support is critical in keeping Bohol insurgency-free, Madriaga said.
He estimated the NPA group to have at least 15 men.