RECOVERED FROM THE REDS. Materials recovered in Sitio Butuan, Village of Igcabugao, Igbaras, Iloilo where the clash between rebels and troops of the Philippine Army’s 61st Infantry Battalion in Iloilo province took place on Monday (November 12, 2018). (Photo by 61 IB/RMN Iloilo)
ILOILO CITY -- A rebel was killed while nine other suspected supporters of the New People’s Army (NPA) were held after a clash with troops of the Philippine Army’s 61st Infantry Battalion (61IB) in Iloilo province noontime of Monday.
In an interview, Lt. Col. Sisenando Magbalot Jr., Commanding Officer of the 61IB, said the dead rebel was found at Sitio Butuan, village of Igcabugao, Igbaras, Iloilo, where the encounter happened.
The New People’s Army (NPA) Napoleon Tumagtang Command – Southern Panay, in a press statement released Tuesday, identified the fatality as Casamiro “Ka Boy” Talaman of Barangay Buloc, Tubungan, Iloilo.
Magbalot said his fellow soldiers were patrolling the village of Igcabugao around 11:30 a.m. when they encountered about 10 rebels who fired at the group. The firefight lasted about 30 minutes, Magbalot said.
“We deployed our troops there because we have been receiving reports that there is constant presence of rebels there” he said.
Recovered from the dead rebel was a backpack with ammunition. There are also improvised explosive device and three gallons of fuel recovered in the area. “They might be planning to use the IED and the fuel against us,” he said.
Magbalot said the body was recovered during their hot pursuit operations.
He said the nine other suspected supporters were held for questioning about their presence in the encounter site.
“Sometimes, if these NPAs have plans of tactical offense against us, they are using civilian or support members they call Militia ng Bayan so, we want to know their identities to ensure that they are not being used by the rebels, but rest assured that we will bring them back to their families,” he said.
Col. Alberto Desoyo, newly-installed commander of the 301st Infantry Brigade based in Dingle, said the incident is a manifestation that the soldiers are really working on the ground to maintain peace and order in the entire Panay Island.
Desoyo swapped post with Col. Benedict Arevalo, who is now commander of the 303rd IB, stationed in Murcia, Negros Occidental.
Desoyo assured to relentlessly run after the enemies to protect the people in the island.
“If there is peace, development comes in and one example is what we are seeing in Iloilo and most parts of Panay so, we really need to continue working together to bring peace and development in Panay Island,” he said.
He then urged the public to continue supporting them and providing information or report the activities of rebels. (PNA)