BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN
The relentless combat operations of the 62nd Infantry Battalion in central Negros led to armed skirmishes with New People’s Army rebels in upland barangays of Sandayao and Trinidad in Guihulngan City, Negros Oriental, since Saturday, and pursuit operations are still ongoing, Col. Michael Samson, acting commander of the 303rd Infantry Brigade, said.
Samson said the 62IB is now being assisted by the Philippine Air Force in the pursuit of a group of heavily armed NPA rebels, who figured in a series of encounters in barangays Sandayao and Trinidad, all in Guihulngan City.
The first encounter between 62IB soldiers and 20 suspected NPA rebels took place at the boundary of sitios Punong and Batong Buang in Brgy. Trinidad, Guihulngan, at about 1 p.m. Saturday.
It was followed by three successive encounters with another group of fleeing rebels, as the running gunbattles reached Brgy. Sandayao, also in the city, Maj. Cenon Pancito, 3rd Infantry Division spokesperson, said.
Samson said 62IB soldiers are still in pursuit of the fleeing rebels, and scouring the encounter sites, as of this time.
He added that nobody was hurt among the 62IB soldiers, while they are still trying to establish if there were any casualties on the NPA side. Samson reiterated his appeal for the NPA remnants to avail of the programs being offered by the government, as he warned them of relentless operations should they continue the armed struggle.*