ILOILO City – A Philippine Army soldier was wounded in an encounter with rebels in Barangay Cabatangan, Lambunao, Iloilo on Monday.
Corporal Aldrin Cablas of the 61st Infantry Battalion (61IB) was taken to the Dr. Ricardo S. Provido Memorial District Hospital in Calinog, Iloilo for a gunshot wound on his left thigh.
The gunfight with rebels which started around 5:30 a.m. lasted for some 20 minutes, according to Lieutenant Colonel Sisenando Magbalot, 61IB commander.
“We sent our soldiers to the area after receiving information that there were armed men there,” he added.
This was the third clash between rebels and the 61IB since Friday last week.
“Sige-sige ang offensive operation natin ngayon against the rebels,” said Magbalot.
On Jan. 11 the 61IB clashed with rebels in Sitio Tigmahan, Barangay Alimodias, Miag-ao, Iloilo.
The soldiers were in Barangay Alimodias in response to complaints from villagers that rebels were demanding rice from them, according to Magbalot.
Around 8:05 a.m. the soldiers spotted what appeared to be an encampment of 20 armed persons. They fired at the rebels.
Magbalot said the rebels fired back but eventually retreated toward the mountains of Sibalom, Antique.
Soldiers recovered from the rebels’ abandoned camp several backpacks, improvised explosive devices, a New People’s Army flag, plastic cups, and subversive documents.
The second encounter was in Sitio Lay, Barangay Dalije, still in Miag-ao, on Jan. 13. around 11 a.m.
Magabalot said the rebels belonged to the NPA’s Southern Front Committee.
No soldiers were injured or got killed in the two previous clashes./PN