An alleged member of the Special Partisan Unit (SPARU) of the New People’s Army was killed by 79th Infantry ‘Masaligan’ Battalion soldiers in an encounter at Sitio Icugan, Brgy Minapasuk, Calatrava in Negros Occidental ,Tuesday, June 22.
The soldiers were conducting security operations in Brgy Minapasuk after receiving reports from concerned civilians about the presence of Communist Terrorist Groups who were conducting extortion activities in the area when an undetermined number of CTG members fired on them prompting the troops to return fire, 1Lt Dansan Camua, 79th IB Civil-Military Operations Officer, said.
The firefight lasted for about five minutes forcing the enemy to escape in different directions leaving their dead comrade behind, he said.
Seized from encounter site were a .45 caliber revolver, .38 caliber revolver and subversive documents, Camua added.
There was no reported casualty from the government troops while undetermined number of CNTs were believed to be wounded as bloodstains were seen along the rebels’ route of withdrawal, he said.
Minapasuk Barangay Captain Johnny Guilot identified the fatality to be Jhonrey Pahayahay, allegedly a member of the Northern Negros Front, Komiteng Rehiyon-Negros, SPARU.
Guilot said Pahayahay had been reportedly recruiting members to join his group while conducting extortion activities and sowing fear to the local populace, Camua added.
Lt. Col. J-jay T Javines, 79th IB commanding officer, said he appreciated the valuable information from the residents about the presence of armed elements which prompted the troops to respond to the call of the people to preserve the peace in the community.
“The cooperation of the residents clearly shows their desire to completely eradicate the communist insurgency in their communities. They are already fed up. That is why we will not also put our guards down and allow these terrorists to continue to sow fear to the local populace, we need to work together to build communities that are inhospitable to enemies of the state, free from fear, of being used and exploited by the CTGs” Javines said.
Calatrava Mayor Marilyn Era lauded the Philippine Army for its commitment and dedication to ensuring the safety of the people and for the quick response to the reports of the residents.*