BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN
A suspected member of the New People’s Army died, while two Army soldiers were injured in renewed armed skirmishes in Sitios Maluy-a and Anahao, in Brgy. Sandayao, Guihulngan City, Negros Oriental, yesterday.
Col. Inocencio Pasaporte, 303rd Infantry Brigade commander, said the unidentified slain NPA rebel was left behind by his fleeing comrades.
Pasaporte said a carbine rifle, a .45 caliber pistol and shotgun were among the war materials initially recovered by the 62nd Infantry Battalion soldiers, who figured in two encounters.
Maj. Cenon Pancito, 3rd Infantry Division spokesman, said that the two Army soldiers, who suffered gunshot wounds in the back and hips, are now in stable condition.
The two encounters took place after Army soldiers were tipped by civilians on the presence of armed men in the two hinterland sitios of the barangay. A day earlier, 62IB soldiers had encountered 15 suspected NPA rebels in SitioUway-Uway, Brgy. Quintin Remo, Moises Padilla, Negros Occidental.
Lt. Col. Melvin Flores, 62IB commander, said that some fleeing rebels may have been injured as indicated by traces of bloodstains they discovered along their withdrawal routes.
Pasaporte said he believes that the three groups of rebels encountered by the 62IB belong to the Central Negros Front of the Komiteng Rehiyonal-Negros-Cebu-Bohol-Siquijor.
Air Force helicopter gunships from Cebu have been assisting the 62IB in the conduct of pursuit operations against the fleeing rebels, as of yesterday afternoon.*