A trooper of the 6th Regional Public Safety Battalion was slightly injured in an encounter Thursday with suspected New People’s Army men in Escalante City, Negros Occidental, where an alleged rebel was killed.
The trooper was identified as Police Officer 1 Jonas de los Reyes, a member of the 2nd Maneuver Platoon of the 6th RPSB, a police report yesterday said.
The 30-minute gunbattle between police troopers and about 30 rebels claimed the life of a suspected NPA member identified by Col. Oscar Lactao, 303rd Infantry Brigade commander, as Edgar Sagure Lopez, of Sitio Gaway-Gaway, Brgy. Jonob-Jonob, Escalante City.
Lactao said the two injured government troopers, including Army Cpl. Edward Robite, who also figured in another encounter with about 10 rebels in Brgy. Quinten Remo, Moises Padilla, on the same day, are now in stable condition.
Police troopers recovered a CPP-NPA red flag, assorted subversive documents, and combat packs containing personal belongings, and empty shells of assorted high-powered firearms at the encounter site in Brgy. Paitan, Escalante City.
A civilian used as a guide by government troopers, was also slightly injured in the gunbattle. His identity is being withheld for security reasons, however.
Capt. Ariel Quirog, 11th Infantry Battalion commander, yesterday said a certain Magno Flores, alias Laden, led a group of seven armed rebels of the Budlas Platoon of the NPA, who figured in an encounter with the group of Robite.
Quirog and Supt. Samuel Mina, officer-in-charge of the 6th RPSB, claimed that several rebels were also injured in the two gunbattles, as indicated by bloodstains seen at the encounter sites.
The 62nd Infantry Battalion and PNP Special Action Force troopers are joining the 11th IB and 6th RPSB in the pursuit operations against the fleeing rebels in Moises Padilla and Escalante City.* GPB