From the Negros Daily Bulletin (May 16): 79th IB Troopers Clash Anew
Sta. Catalina, Negros Oriental - Troops from 79th Infantry Battalion led by 1Lt. Ronnie Sarmiento while conducting combat operations encountered more or less 30 heavily armed NPAs in the hinterlands of Sitio Naupao, Barangay San Pedro, Sta Catalina town at around 04:40pm yesterday. Another soldier was reportedly wounded during the firefight.
As the NPAs withdrew in disarray after a few minutes of firefights, they were again engaged by the nearby troops from 79th IB led by 2Lt. John Tumamao and 2Lt. Christopher Eslava. Firefight was still ongoing as of 06:00 P.M. yesterday.
These NPAs were believed to be the same group of NPAs that was encountered by the troops of 79th IB in So Bungabong, Brgy Milagrosa yesterday, estimated four kilometers from the latest encounter site.
Colonel Francisco Patrimonio, the Commanding Officer of the Army’s 302nd Brigade, has directed the troops to conduct pursuit operations following the blood traces left behind by the NPAs. "We will run after them. We will not allow them (bandits) to carry out violent activities to the peace loving residents of the locality," Patrimonio said.
The military has already coordinated with PNP counterparts for complementary checkpoint operations in the nearby barangays to prevent the NPAs from nearing the civilian populace and using them as human shields.