(Lead, Changing Dateline) Soldiers recover explosives, ammos following clash with rebels in southern Iloilo

By Nanette Guadalquiver

ILOILO, (PNA) — Troops of the Philippine Army’s 82nd Infantry Battalion recovered two improvised explosive devices and assorted live ammunition following a clash with New People’s Army rebels at an area between barangays Dalije and Alimodias in the southern town of Miag-ao, Iloilo.

The soldiers, who encountered the rebels at around 11:30 a.m., also found four backpacks containing “subversive documents of high intelligence value,” and personal belongings.

The armed engagement with about 30 NPA rebels happened while government troopers were conducting security patrol.

None of the soldiers was injured during the 30-minute firefight.

Lt. Col. Aldwine Almase, commander of 82nd IB, said in a press statement that they acknowledged the efforts of the residents of Miag-ao in reporting the presence of the rebels who are threatening civilians in the area.

For his part, Brig. Gen. Aurelio Baladad, commander of the 3rd Infantry Division, said he still believes that lasting peace can be achieved if the rebels will agree to a peace negotiation.

“We call on our brothers and sisters in the NPA to lay down their arms. Let us work together and help each other to achieve lasting peace and development in our society,” Baladad appealed to the rebels anew.