From the Visayan Daily Star (Apr 25, 2020): Two soldiers injured in battle
Two more Army soldiers were injured yesterday in renewed armed clashes between government soldiers and suspected New People’s Army rebels in Sitio Sicaba, Brgy. Gawahon, Victorias City, Negros Occidental.
Col. InocencioPasaporte, 303rd Infantry Brigade commander, said that the two Army soldiers were injured while they and troopers of the Special Action Force Battalion 8 of the PNP were in pursuit of NPA rebels they had encountered at about 8:30 a.m. yesterday.
The latest armed skirmishes ensued five days after the Army soldiers and NPA rebels also clashed in Brgy. Carabalan, HimamaylanCity, that left three government troopers killed four others injured.
Prior to the encounter, Pasaporte said that combined 79IB and SAF troopers had been assisting in the distribution of Social Amelioration Program grants of the Department of Social Welfare and Development to residents of barangays 5, 19, Canetown and Villa in Victorias City since April 19, and conducting a COVID-19 information dissemination campaign.
The two injured soldiers, Cpl. Ramy Chiefe and Cpl. Louie Maghanoy, were airlifted from the encounter site by an Air Force UH-IH helicopter and are now in stable condition, Pasaporte said.
Lt. Col. Gerard Alvaran,79IB commander, said that the NPA rebels were about to explode two IEDs, as proven by their s recovery, which is a violation of the International Humanitarian Law.
Pasaporte said that NPA rebels, who fled after 30 minutes of gunbattle, also suffered four casualties as indicated by the bloodstains seen along their withdrawal route.
Two improvised landmines with blasting caps, two bandoleers of AK 47 and M-16 rifles, two Baofeng handheld radios with charger, five hammocks, eight blankets and five hammocks, assorted medicines, binoculars, two cellular phones, a compass, subversive documents and assorted personal belongings were left behind and recovered at the encounter site.
Pasaporte lambasted the CPP- NPA rebels for their “deliberate efforts to sabotage government’s campaign in disseminating health information to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the communities.”
“There will be no let up in our operations against the NPA rebels and at the same time we will continue supporting the different LGUs in addressing health concerns brought about by COVID-19,” Pasaporte said.