From the Mindanao Examiner blog site (Jan 24): Troops, NPAs clash in Zamboanga Norte
Government troops clashed Friday with communist rebels in the southern Philippine province of Zamboanga del Norte, officials said.
Officials said the fighting in Leon Postigo town left a still undetermined number of New People’s Army rebels. There were no reports of the military side.
Major Edmond Abella, a spokesman for the 1st Infantry Division, said troops from the 10th Infantry Battalion led by Lt. Arlene Palafox and Lt. Arrian Hector Inopia clashed with about 40 gunmen in the village called Santa Maria.
Abella said villagers tipped off the military about the presence of rebels in the area. He said the fighting erupted after patrolling troops caught up with rebels in the village. The clash only stopped after rebels broke into smaller groups and escaped when military reinforcement arrived.
“The NPAs sustained several casualties as evidenced by the bloodstains in their routes of withdrawal. Troops also recovered assorted propaganda paraphernalia, personal belongings, and various subversive documents of high intelligence value,” Abella said.
Maj. Gen. Felicito Virgilio Trinidad Jr, the division commander, ordered troops in the province to intensify its operations against the rebels to protect the civilians from attacks.