A government soldier and two alleged New People’s Army rebels were killed in an encounter in Barangay Kapitan Ramon, Silay City, in Negros Occidental 6 a.m. Friday, August 20, Maj. Cenon Pancito III, spokesperson of the Philippine Army’s 3rd Infantry Division, said.
The 79th Infantry “Masaligan” Battalion soldiers while conducting combat operations in Hacienda Raymunda, Barangay Kapitan Ramon, encountered 10 fully armed remnants of the NPA Northern Negros Front, Pancito said.
A 35-minute firefight ensued after the soldiers responded to reports of the presence of armed men conducting recruitment and extortion activities, an Army report said.
Killed in the encounter was PFC Christopher Alada of Barangay Indorohan, Badiangan, Iloilo, who “died a hero protecting the people of Hacienda Raymunda,” the Army said.
He sustained a gunshot wound on his head and was rushed to a nearby hospital but was declared dead on arrival.
Also killed were male and female alleged members of the rebel group, whose remains were turned over to the Silay police, Pancito said.
There were bloodstains on the withdrawal route of the enemy, which indicates that there were rebels who suffered severe wounds, the Army report said.
Lt. Col. J-jay Javines, 79th IB commander, said they are saddened by the loss of their soldier and salute his bravery and heroism.
“Rest assured that his sacrifices will not be futile”, he said.
He also commended the troops for “the swift response, and the people of Silay for their cooperation that led to the successful conduct of the operation in the area”.
Joint AFP-PNP checkpoints have been established in the area to support the ongoing pursuit operations against the escaping rebels.
Recovered from the scene of the encounter were an M-16 rifle with bandolier, ammunition, sling bags, rain boots, rubber shoes, a backpack, two Baofeng radios with charger, assorted medical paraphernalia, personal belongings and subversive documents, the Army report said.
Residents of Hacienda Raymunda who were awakened by bursts of gunfire evacuated but the bulk of them had returned to their homes by late Friday, Kapitan Ramon Barangay Captain Ronnie Aguirre said.*