ANOTHER armed encounter happened between government troops and suspected members of the New People’s Army (NPA) in Leon town, morning of Sept 6, 2018.
Members of the Philippine Army’s 61st Infantry Battalion were conducting security patrol when they encountered around 10 armed men at Sitio Ali, Barangay Malublub at about 4:50 a.m.
Colonel Benedict Arevalo, 301st Infantry Brigade commander, said the rebels are believed to be members of Sibat Platoon of the NPA’s Komiteng Rehiyon-Panay.
The alleged rebels fled to Gines village after a 15-minute firefight.
Arevalo said there was no casualty on the part of government troopers while casualties on the rebels side remains undetermined.
Last Aug 24, 2018, three police officers suffered minor injuries after they clashed with alleged NPA members at Barangay Isian Victoria, Leon.
The incident was believed to be a retaliatory move by the rebels nine days after government operatives killed seven alleged NPA leaders in San Jose, Antique.
The wounded police officers were Chief Inspector Abner Jordan, 601st Mobile Force Company commander; PO3 Rosenie Libuna, and PO1 Mark Ringo Fernando.
Arevalo said the said encounter is a result of the relentless pursuit of the military and police against NPA members who were allegedly behind the shooting of civilians on Aug 29 at Barangay Igcabugao, Igbaras, Iloilo.
The incident wounded a female employee of Century Peak Energy Corporation (CPEC).
“We cannot wait for them to do violence against us. I want the troops to go out and run after them,” Arevalo said.
The latest incident is the seventh encounter in Panay Island between AFP-PNP and NPA since July 21, as the government forces are intensifying its operations to allegedly stop NPA’s extortion activities.
“We are encouraging the people in Panay to report any NPA activity in their area in order to put an end to NPA terrorist extortion,” Arevalo added.
For any information on NPA’s movements and extortion activities call or text the 301st Infantry Brigade hotline numbers, 0928-175-7208 and 0916-766-3740.
On July 22, an encounter happened in Barangay Katipunan, Tapaz, Capiz. The next happened August 1 at Barangay Alimodian, Miagao, Iloilo and four days later at Barangay Cabatangan, Lambunao, Iloilo
On Aug 15, another encounter at Barangay Atabay, San Jose, Antique and nine days later at Isian Victoria, Leon, Iloilo.
But the biggest blow was the Aug. 25 encounter that killed seven alleged ranking leaders of the NPA-KRP’s Regional Taxation Implementation Group (RTIG).