A soldier sustained a gunshot wound following a clash with suspected New People’s Army (NPA) rebels in Kabankalan City, Negros Occidental, on Thursday, July 22.
Troopers of the 15th Infantry (Molave Warrior) Battalion were conducting combat operations when they encountered about 20 rebels at Sitio Manulaya, Barangay Tan-awan.
The firefight that lasted for 30 minutes left one soldier wounded in the left leg. He is now in stable condition.
Maj. Cenon Pancito III, spokesperson of the 3rd Infantry Division based in Jamindan, Capiz, said in a statement Friday, July 23, that after the firefight, the rebels scampered in different directions.
He also said the rebel group “suffered an undetermined number of wounded based on the bloodstains seen at the encounter site and their withdrawal route.”
While scouring the area, the troops also discovered a temporary encampment, which can accommodate about 30 people.
This was the second NPA lair the state troopers discovered this week. The other one was in a hinterland barangay of Candoni town, which they found following sporadic encounters with the rebels.
Seized at the Kabankalan encounter were an M-16 A1 rifle, four short magazines with ammunition, improvised explosive device components, a M-16 handguard, one jungle hammock, one bolo, three ponchos, and other personal belongings.
Maj. General Eric Vinoya, 3ID commander, said the discovery of two encampments suggests that the NPAs in Negros are now on the run.
“They cannot afford to stay or go back to one place after losing the trust and support of the masses. All they can do now is run and hide to avoid being hit by our troops,” he said.*