Classes in three schools at barangays San Jose and Camindangan in Sipalay City, Negros Occidental, were temporarily suspended Thursday, January 19, until further notice following encounters between government and rebel forces that caused residents to evacuate.
Classes were suspended at the Binulig Elementary School, Gil Montilla National High School – Binulig Extension, and Omas Integrated School, the Sipalay City government announced.
Gunbattles between the 15th Infantry Battalion soldiers and New People’s Army rebels took place at the boundaries of barangays Camalanda-an and Baclao in Cauayan town at 11:10 a.m. and at Sitio Malipayon, Brgy. San Jose, Sipalay City, at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, January 18.
One soldier was wounded and was in stable condition on Thursday, Brig. Gen. Leonardo Peña, 302nd Infantry Brigade commander, said.
Dionilo Bogtae, head of the Sipalay Emergency Assistance and Rescue Services, said there were 399 evacuees staying at the Binulig Elementary School in Brgy. San Jose and 66 outside the evacuation center as of noon Thursday.
The evacuees are residents of puroks Malipayon and Tabon-Tabon in Brgy. San Jose, he said.
The Sipalay City government has provided meals and medical assistance to the evacuees.
The City Social Welfare and Development Office and the 15th Infantry Battalion conducted stress debriefing activities for the evacuees.*