Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Soldier wounded in Masbate clash; new clash between gov’t troops, NPA rebels in Bicol occurs
By Norman B. Tamar

AROROY, Masbate, Feb. 7 (PNA) -- A soldier was wounded in a clash between suspected New People’s Army rebels and government troopers in Barangay (village) Amotag in Aroroy, Masbate, the second reported skirmish between the two forces in the Bicol region since collapse of the peace talks between the two early this week, said a belated report that reached the Provincial Police Office (PPO) Tuesday.

SPO1 Zandro R. Cabintoy, public information officer of the Masbate PPO, said the encounter between the communist rebels and troops from the 93rd Division Reconnaisance Company (DRC) occurred in Barangay Amotag on Monday afternoon at 1:40 p.m.

“Barangay Amotag is an interior barangay (village) located 21 kilometers away from the poblacion of Aroroy town,” he said.

Cabintoy said police authorities have identified the wounded soldier as Cpl. Mark Alfred Repol.

The soldier was with one section of the company led by 2nd Lt. Ramil Balsomo that was conducting combat patrol in the village when they encountered around 15 NPA guerrillas.

“A firefight lasting 10 minutes ensued before the NPA rebels withdrew towards the direction of Barangay Macabug of Aroroy town,” said Cabintoy.

Government troops recovered from the scene four improvised explosive devices, 96 pieces of live ammunitions of M14 rifle, a jungle hammock, 12 batteries, assorted medicines and subversive documents.

Repol was brought to Masbate Doctors Hospital in Masbate City for treatment

Cabintoy said elements of 93rd DRC are conducting pursuit operations against the rebels.

President Rodrigo Duterte terminated the government’s ceasefire with the Communist Party of the Philippines and NPA, its armed wing, on February 3 after the NPA announced lifting of its unilateral ceasefire with the government on Feb. 1. (PNA) LAP/GVR/NBT/CBD