By Aaron Recuenco
Two government militiamen were killed in a clash with suspected communist rebels in Sallapadan town of Abra.
Maj. Amado Gutierrez, spokesman of the 7th Infantry Division, said the firefight lasted for 30 minutes and started as harassment on a military detachment in Barangay Sallapadan at around 8:30 a.m.
The rebels, according to Gutierrez, fled after the clash.
The 4,000-strong New People’s Army has been waging more than five decades of armed struggle against the government for five decades now.
The government is now pursuing localized peace talks with the rebels after the peace negotiations with the Duterte administration bogged down anew.
So far, the government said more than 1,000 communist rebels have surrendered to the government since the localized peace talks were initiated.