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Suspected NPA rebel killed, 9 others arrested after clash with military


An alleged member of the New People's Army died when suspected members of the rebel group exchanged fire with government troops in Igbaras, Iloilo on Monday morning.

The fatality remained unidentified as of posting time.

Nine others were captured after the encounter, according to a press release of the Philippine Army's 61st Infantry (Hunter) Battalion.

The encounter between the suspected NPAs and the military occurred at about 11:20 a.m. in Sitio Butuan, Barangay Igcabugao.

The military received a report from residents that more or less 10 full-armed men were in the area.

A firefight ensued and lasted for 30 minutes.

No fatality was reported on the government side.

Lieutenant Colonel Sisenando Magbalot Jr., commanding officer of the 61st Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army, said the troops found the dead body as they pursued the fleeing rebels.

Also recovered on the body was a backpack, an improvised explosive device, and a bandolier of 5.56 mm bullets.

The troops also recovered three gallons of gasoline in the area and they believe the rebels were about to use it to burn the facilities of the Century Peak Energy Corporation.

In 2015, the rebel group torched the company's heavy equipment used in the construction of a mini hydro project in the barangay.

The rebel group also allegedly staged an ambush in August 2017 on a pickup ferrying the company's employees and personnel from the 61st Infantry Battalion. One of the CPEC employees was wounded.

Magbalot commended the residents for informing them of the presence of rebels in their area.

“We are commending the vigilance of the local populace in reporting the presence of the CPP-NPA Terrorist which resulted to the successful deterrence of their terroristic activities like sabotaging and burning of developmental projects in the area. This is a clear indication that the people in Panay are fed up with the terrorist group," he said. —KG, GMA News

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