NARVACAN, Ilocos Sur, Feb. 5 (PIA) - - Three members of the New People’s Army (NPA) were confirmed dead while one other was hurt in a figured firefight at the mountainous area in Sitio Nagas-asan, Ud-udiao, Sallapadan, Abra province when the government troopers conducted a routine security patrol in the area last Friday.
Colonel Eliseo Posadas, Commander of the army’s 503rd Brigade based in Lagangilang, Abra province, confirmed that killed rebels were identified as Ricardo Reyes a.k.a. Tubong, the leader of the NPA’s group namely: SPP South Central Tahoma operating in the towns of Bucloc, Daguioman, Sallapadan and Boliney in Abra province; one Alias Ronnie; and one Alias Spike; both members of the NPA’s SPP South Central Tahoma group.
“Other NPA rebel was confirmed wounded after the encounter but we are still on the process of verifying his identity,” he said.
According to Posadas, the bodies of the three slain rebels and the body of one wounded rebels were not recovered at the battle site because they were hauled by the escaping rebels during the encounter as confirmed by local residents who witnessed the incident.
“At present, we are also verifying the real names of the two slain rebels,” he added.
According to Posadas, the gunbattle occurred at about 10:30 a.m. last Friday. The government troops belong to the Army’s 52nd Reconnaisance Company led by 2Lt. Torre Palma were having the routine security patrol in the area when they discovered the encampment of at least 20 fully- armed rebels in the mountainous area at Sitio Nagas-asan, Ud-udiao, Sallapadan, Abra province.
“The exchange of gunfires lasted for 30 minutes following the withdrawal of the NPA rebels, who carried away their fallen comrades. However, no one from our troops was hurt in the gunbattle,” he said.
He said that during their clearing operations, the soldiers captured a Caliber .45 pistol, 15 pieces of makeshift tents and voluminous subversive documents. (JCR/FGL-PIA 1 Ilocos Sur)