BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN
The body of a suspected member of the New People’s Army Special Partisan Unit, who died in an encounter with soldiers of the 79th Infantry Battalion on June 22 in Sitio Icugan, Brgy. Minapasuk, Calatrava, Negros Occidental, was claimed by his family, police chief, Maj. Roberto Indiape, said yesterday.
Lt. Col. J-Jay Javines, 79th IB commander, said the encounter took place after his troops responded to reports of civilians about the presence of a group of armed rebels in their community.
Javines said the fleeing rebels left their slain companion, identified later by Minapasuk barangay chairman Johnny Guilot as Johnrey Pahayahay, a member of NPA Special Partisan Unit, who was recruiting new members while conducting extortion activities in the hinterland sitios of the barangay.
Also recovered at the encounter site were a .45 caliber pistol, a .38 caliber revolver, and subversive documents.
Javines raised the possibility that more rebels were injured in the armed skirmish since bloodstains were also discovered along the NPA withdrawal routes. He lauded the timely information relayed by civilians to his troops, adding that Calatrava Mayor Marilyn Era issued a statement commending the Philippine Army for its commitment and dedication in ensuring the safety of town residents.*