A SUSPECTED member of the New People’s Army (NPA) was captured in yet another clash between the rebel group and members of the Philippine Army.
The latest encountered happened 6:20 a.m. of April 16, 2019 at Barangay Masaroy, Calinog, Iloilo.
After a 5-minute exchange of fire and intermittent shots, soldiers from the 61st Infantry Battalion captured alias Fernan/Greg.
According to 1Lt. Hazel Joy Durotan, 61st IB spokesperson, said police are still verifying Fernan’s identity as of this writing.
Durotan said Fernan is one of the 10 rebels from the NPA’s Front 13 of the Komiteng Rehiyon-Panay (KR-P) who clashed with 61IB troopers who were on strike operation in Calinog town.
“We’ve been receiving reports of NPA’s presence in the area, thus the conduct of combat operations,” Durotan said.
No one was hurt on the government side.
Meanwhile, Lt. Colonel Joel Benedict Batara, 61St IB commander, confirmed that government troops found firearms, ammunition, and subversive documents at the encounter site.
He also lauded the efforts of the troops for their relentless pursuit of the terrorists in the area.
But more than that, Batara credited the populace who continue to report presence of NPA members in their community.
Meanwhile, Durotan is not discounting that the rebels have been inching near town proper areas as part of their election-related extortion activities.
“But it’s very possible. They might influence the populace by coercing them into voting their chosen candidates,” she said.
The latest encounter is already the 10th between the rebels and 61st IB in Panay Island.
And from the looks of it, it won’t be the last, Durotan said.