A trooper from the 87th Infantry Battalion was killed following a 15-minute firefight with suspected New People's Army (NPA) extortion teams in Jiabong town,
Belated reports from Capt. Amado Gutierrez, 8th Infantry Division spokesperson, said the encounter took place around 9:30 a.m. on February 23.
He added that soldiers from their 87th Infantry Battalion were conducting routine security patrols and community service in the vicinity of Barangays Lulugayan and Camarubo-an, Jiabong town when it chanced upon NPA extortion teams resulting in the encounter.
Gutierrez said the rebels immediately retreated after taking an undetermined number of injured or casualty. Pursuit operations are still ongoing.
He declined to identify the fallen soldier pending notification of the latter's next-of-kin.