ILOILO City – Several days after government troops and suspected New People’s Army (NPA) rebels clashed in Miag-ao, Iloilo, another skirmish happened, this time in Barangay Cabatangan, Lambunao, Iloilo.
The encounter between soldiers of the Philippine Army’s 61st Infantry Battalion (61IB) and the NPA started at around 5:30 a.m. just over a kilometer away from an Army detachment.
According to Lieutenant Colonel Sisenando Magbalot of the 61IB, the firefight lasted for some 10 minutes before the rebels withdrew.
None from the government troops were injured or died.
Magbalot believed all the rebels managed to flee unharmed, too.
“The rebels have a new strategy. They fire their guns near the detachment. When our troops come out to check what’s happening, the rebels would fire at them. Alam na natin style nila. Our men hindi sasakay sa trap nila,” said Magbalot.
On Aug. 1 soldiers of the 61IB encounter rebels in Barangay Alimodias, Miag-ao, Iloilo at around 9:30 a.m.
The gunfight lasted for some five minutes then the rebels withdrew. They were believed to be under NPA Panay’s Southern Front Committee.
Magbalot said the armed men left trails of blood in the Miag-o encounter, an indication that they were wounded.
On July 30, rebels fired at an Army detachment in nearby Barangay Pudpud, Miag-ao.
The government troops were verifying intelligence information that rebels were recruiting members and extorting money from villagers when they encountered some armed men./PN