An alleged member of the New People’s Army (NPA) died in a clash with joint military and police forces on Aug. 8 around 9:35 a.m. in the outskirts of Barangay Bontongon, Impasugong, Bukidnon.
Meanwhile, one soldier was wounded in another clash on the same day.
Capt. Norman Tagros, the civil-military operations officer of the 403rd Infantry Brigade, said the slain rebel was a member of the Section Committee 89 of the North Central Mindanao Regional Committee.
Tagros said the personnel of the 403rd Infantry Brigade and the Bukidnon Provincial Mobile Force Company of the Bukidnon Police Provincial Office were deployed to the area following reports from local residents regarding the presence of armed men who were extorting the farmers and radicalizing the Lumads.
He said the firefight lasted for just five minutes resulting in the death of a male rebel, who has yet to be identified.
“It also resulted in the recovery of one improvised rifle, and the wounding of several other NPAs as evidenced by the bloodstains seen by the troops in the area,” he added.
Meanwhile, at around 12 noon on the same day, another clash took place between the elements of the 1st Special Forces Battalion and a group of NPAs near the first encounter site. This one lasted for 10 minutes and one soldier was wounded.
The soldier is now in stable condition in Camp Evangelista Station Hospital.
Bukidnon was declared as “Conflict-Manageable and Ready for Further Development” on Aug. 7.
However, Brig. Gen. Eric Vinoya, the commander of the 403rd IB, said they will continue their military offensives, in coordination with the PNP, to drive the NPA away from the communities.
“We mourn the loss of another life yesterday and we offer our sincere condolences to the bereaved family of the (NPA) member who died during the clash,” Vinoya said.
“This could not have happened if he heeded our continued call for them to go down, surrender, and embrace peace.”