From Panay News (Apr 21, 2020): More soldiers deployed to Miag-ao (By Ruby Silubrico)
ILOILO City – The 3rd Infantry Division (3ID) of the Philippine Army deployed additional soldiers to Miag-ao, Iloilo following an encounter with New People’s Army (NPA) rebels on Saturday.
The 3ID spokesperson, Army Captain Cenon Pancito III, said, “We are ready if they want war.”
He criticized the rebels for not respecting the government ceasefire at this time when the country is battling with the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic.
The NPA continue to launch atrocities, extort money from farmers and recruit people, even minors, said Pancito.
On April 18, troops of the 61st Infantry Battalion encountered around 49 rebels under the Suyak Platoon of the NPA Southern Front Committee in Barangay Cabalaunan, Miag-ao.
One suspected rebel died. The Army identified him as John Faronchilin, kagawad of Barangay Onop, Miag-ao.
The firefight lasted for some 40 minutes.
Army soldiers recovered from the clash site an M1 Garand rifle, a KG9 submachine gun, a .45 pistol, improvised explosive devices, medical paraphernalia, and subversive documents.
On the other hand, the NPA through spokesperson Ka Ilaya Kanaway denied that Faronchilin was a member of the NPA.
Faronchilin was a leader of a farmers’ association in their barangay, according to Kanaway.
“Ginakasubo gid namon ang pagtaliwan sang isa ka huwaran nga lider sang mangunguma. Samtang, ginakaakig sang sektor sang mangunguma ang kriminal, pasista kag berdugo nga militar nga nagpatay sa iya,” Kanaway said.
He also claimed that the encounter was faked by the Army.