From the Philippine News Agency (Aug 3): 3 soldiers, rebels killed in Masbate clash
Army and police forces are hunting down suspected members of the New People’s Army (NPA), who killed at least three Philippine Army (PA) soldiers in a clash on Friday morning in a remote village in Cawayan town in Masbate, a police report said.
The identities of the slain soldiers were not yet available as of press time, according to Police Chief Inspector Maria Luisa Calubaquib, spokesperson for the Philippine National Police (PNP) in Bicol.
A report said an undetermined number of rebels were also killed in the firefight.
Calubaquib, quoting the report, said a group of Army soldiers were on patrol operations when they were reportedly waylaid by an undetermined number of NPA rebels around 8:30 a.m. Friday in Barangay (village) Mactan, Cawayan town.
The government troops were able to retaliate and engaged the NPA rebels in a fierce gun battle, resulting in deaths on both sides.
Calubaquib said the soldiers are members of the Army’s 2nd Infantry Battalion operating in Masbate province.
Police units in adjacent towns have set up checkpoints in strategic locations where the NPA rebels and their wounded companions might pass through.
Police and military operatives were directed to check hospitals and clinic to verify if there are patients admitted due to gunshot wounds.