About 530 Sipalay City, Negros Occidental, residents evacuated after two encounters between the 15th Infantry Battalion soldiers and New People’s Army rebels in southern Negros Occidental on Wednesday, January 18.
Brig. Gen. Leonardo Peña, 302nd Infantry Brigade commander, said 15th IB soldiers encountered about five NPA rebels in Barangay Camalanda-an, Cauayan, at 11 a.m. and spotted about 20 during their pursuit operations.
A second gunbattle between the 15th IB soldiers and the rebels took place at 5 p.m. Wednesday in the same barangay, he added.
One 15th IB soldier was wounded and pursuit operations against the rebels were ongoing, he said.
Dionilo Bogtae, head of the Sipalay Emergency Assistance and Rescue Services, said the encounter took place near the border of Sipalay.
He said 530 members of 113 households evacuated to the Binulig Elementary School in Brgy. San Jose, Sipalay City, following the encounters Wednesday.
The evacuees are residents of puroks Malipayon and Tabon-Tabon in Brgy. San Jose, he said.*