A lieutenant and two soldiers from the 46th Infantry Battalion were killed while two others were wounded in two separate encounters with New People's Army (NPA) bandits in Panutukan town,
Wednesday. Compostela Valley
Capt. Rhyan Batchar, 10th Infantry Division public affairs office chief, said the first incident happened at Sitio Sapang Tin-aw, Barangay Tibagon, Pantukan at 1 p.m. Wednesday.
Government troops were on routine security patrol when they encountered an estimated 60 NPAs belonging to the Pulang Bagani Command 3 of the Southern Mindanao Regional Committee.
The rebels retreated after a 30-minute firefight. However, as 46th Infantry Battalion troops were conducting clearing operations, the NPAs detonated an improvised explosive device (IED) which killed two troopers and wounded two others.
Batchar identified the slain troopers as 1st Lt. Ralph Pantonial and Pfc. Eulezys Bantulo and those wounded as Pfc. Sabido and Cpl. Velunta.
The second encounter took place 6 p.m. at Sitio Biasong, Barangay Napnapan, Pantukan when around 10 NPAs fired upon a platoon of soldiers from Bravo Company, of the 46th Infantry Battalion.
After a five-minute firefight the rebels withdrew going north and burned two houses at Purok 7 of the same area during their escape.
Killed in the second clash was Pfc. Moreno. Pursuit operations are still ongoing as of this posting.