The New People’s Army claims that two soldiers were killed in Sitio Danao, Brgy. Apoloy, Siaton, Negros Oriental, on June 28, but the Army has denied having any casualties.
Two members of the 32nd Division Reconnaissance Company of the 3rd Infantry Division were killed in an encounter with a squad-size rebel unit in Sitio Danao, Estrella Banagbanag, spokesperson of the Rachelle Mae Palang Command of the New People’s Army Southeast Negros Front, yesterday claimed in a statement.
The dead soldiers were airlifted by an Air Force helicopter from the encounter site, it added.
Banagbanag also denied claims by the Army that the strength of the NPA has been waning.
Army reports show that at around 9:40 a.m. on June 28, soldiers from the Reconnaissance Company were conducting patrol operation in the sitio when nine suspected rebels and an amazon opened fire on them.
A 15-minute firefight erupted before the rebels fled, leaving behind some belongings.
Col. Marion Sison, commander of the 79th Infantry Battalion, had said no casualty was reported on the government side, but he claimed that they received reports that bloodstains were noticed along the withdrawal route of the NPA guerillas.
Meanwhile, the Philippine National Police is preparing to file attempted murder charges against suspected NPA members, for the alleged ambush of a member of the Special Civilian Armed Auxiliary of the Philippine Army and two civilian companions in Sta. Catalina, Negros Oriental recently.
Senior Insp. Rogelio Pacificar, chief of police of Sta. Catalina, yesterday said investigators are awaiting the return of the three victims who survived the attack so they can execute their affidavits.
On June 29, three suspected rebels allegedly opened fire on SCAA member Macbeth Villarosa, 31, and his companions who were returning home from harvesting peanuts at Sitio Banlas in Barangay Milagrosa, Sta. Catalina, Sison said.
The victims escaped and reported the incident to the Sta. Catalina police station. They also identified one of their assailants as Aming Dacal-dacal, an alleged NPA member, Pacificar said.
Sison, who condemned the attack, described it as a desperate and retaliatory move on the part of the rebels, who seek out soft targets.*GPB/JFP
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