DUMAGUETE CITY, (PNA) -– Scout Rangers of the Philippine Army on Friday afternoon arrested three suspected members of the rebel New People’s Army (NPA) – the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines – in Guihulngan City, Negros Oriental.
Brig. Gen. Francisco Patrimonio, 302nd Infantry Brigade commander, identified the captured alleged NPA rebels as Jessie Abing, 25, of Barangay Nasunggan, La Libertad and Thomas Esugan, 19, of Barangay Buenavista, Guihulngan, all in Negros Oriental, and a 17 year old from Barangay Camandag, La Castellana, Negros Occidental.
Army troops recovered from them an M-14 Armalite rifle with several rounds of live ammunition and backpacks. They were captured in the vicinity of the encounter site as government forces were pursuing the suspected rebels, said Brig. Gen. Patrimonio.
A progress report received by Brig. Gen. Patrimonio Friday evening said that upon verification of the location, it was determined that the encounter site actually took place at Sitio Cansayawan in Barangay Linantuyan, Guihulngan at the boundary of Barangay Plagatasanon.
Reports reaching the brigade commander said that troops of the 3rd Scout Ranger Company of the First Scout Ranger Battalion clashed around 12:50 p.m. with at least 20 suspected NPA rebels who had divided themselves into two groups.
The suspected insurgents fled towards the southeast and the northeast following several minutes of firefight, said Patrimonio.
No casualties were reported on the government side but the Army believes the NPAs suffered some casualties as they fled from the site of the encounter.
Pursuit operation is ongoing as more troops were poured in the area to reinforce the government forces.
Meanwhile, the captured suspected NPA rebels were turned over for custody to the 11th IB at Camp McKinley in Guihulngan after which they shall be handed over to the police for detention and the filing of criminal charges, said Patrimonio.