Gov’t soldier, rebel die in Himamaylan battles

A government soldier and an alleged New People’s Army fighter were killed in two encounters in Purok Galaupan, Barangay Carabalan, Himamaylan City, Negros Occidental, Wednesday morning, June 9.

The first encounter between the 62nd Infantry Battalion soldiers and nine communist rebels at 9 a.m. resulted in the wounding of two government soldiers, Maj. Cenon Pancito III, spokesperson of the 3rd Infantry Division of the Philippine Army, said.

The wounded were immediately transferred by helicopter to a hospital in Bacolod where one of the soldiers was declared dead on arrival, Pancito said.

The fatality was identified as Cpl. Rodney A. Luces of Alimondian, Iloilo, who died a hero protecting the people of Himamaylan, Pancito said.

The other wounded soldier, whose name was withheld, is being treated at a Bacolod hospital, Pancito added.

Pancito said in a pursuit operation the Army soldiers encountered nine NPA fighters at 10:10 a.m. Wednesday, and a gunbattle lasted for 10 minutes.

This resulted in the death of one NPA fighter and the seizure of seven backpacks containing personal belongings, he added.*

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