Eight rebels, 1 soldier killed in ComVal clash

EIGHT members of the New People’s Army (NPA) were killed in an encounter with the combined troops of  the 25th Infantry Battalion and 60th IB in Barangay LS Sarmiento, Laak, Compostela Valley around 8:30 a.m. of Wednesday, July 12.

One soldier was also killed during the encounter.

The troops  encountered  about 40 NPAs believed to be members of Section Committee  3  and Pulang Bagani Command ( PBC)  4 of Sub- Regional Command (SRC), Southern Mindanao Regional Committee (SMRC).

The firefight lasted for more than 30 minutes.

In an interview, Col. Gilbert Saret, the deputy commander of  1001st Infantry Brigade, said the encounter was a direct result of their sustained focus military operation in the area. “And we have received also information that there was a consolidation of NPAs in the area,” Saret said.

“We know that if they are consolidating, they are (usually) planning a terror attack so the troops  conducted combat operation in order to preempt possible attacks of NPAs on their possible target,” he said.

One soldier, a private first class, was also brought to Camp Panacan station hospital after sustaining fatal wounds. He later died from gunshot wounds on the chest.

Maj. Gen. Noel S Clement, 10ID commander, lauded the bravery of the troops. He also expressed sorrow regarding the fallen soldier who offered the ultimate sacrifice in pursuit of peace.

“We will not lower our guards against any armed threat that can harm the peaceful living of our people,” Clement said.

During the clearing operation, troops recovered one M60 machine gun and five M16 Armalite rifles.

On July 10, troops of the 25th IB engaged communist guerrillas in a firefight in Barangay Casoon, Monkayo, Compostela Valley. They also overran an NPA camp.

Prior to this series of encounters, Lt. Col. Ismael Mandanas, commander of 25th IB, said they have been receiving reports about rebels consolidating in Casoon to plan strategic attacks ahead of President Duterte’s state of the nation address.

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