From the Philippine Star (Aug 9): Military on the lookout vs rebels' extortion, attacks in Bukidnon
Different rebel groups have reportedly been frequenting the outskirts of Malaybalay City and nearby Bukidnon towns. File photo
BUKIDNON, Philippines - The military on Sunday resumed with its community patrols in the outskirts of Malaybalay City to prevent another incursion by communist rebels mulcting money from local peasants.
New People’s Army (NPA) guerillas on Wednesday raided villages in Indalasa District in Malaybalay City northeast of Bukidnon, provoking running firefights with combatants of the Army’s 8th Infantry Battalion.
A soldier, Private 1st Class Randy Hulleza, was killed in the ensuing encounter.
Different rebel groups have reportedly been frequenting the outskirts of Malaybalay City and nearby Bukidnon towns lately to collect “protection money” from peasant communities.
The 8th IB intensified its patrols in areas where the NPAs are operating on the behest of barangay folks and local officials.
There are text messages circulating around, purporting that four NPAs were wounded in last week’s skirmishes with combatants of 8th IB.
Captain Norman Tagros, spokesperson of 8th IB, was quoted in radio reports as saying they could not confirm the NPA casualties.
He said the escape route of the rebels was heavily stained with blood, but there were no actual sightings of wounded NPAs by pursuing soldiers.
Tagros said barangay folks reported seeing the retreating NPAs carry wounded comrades.