Army, Reds clash anew in Miag-ao town

TROOPS from the Philippine Army’s 61st Infantry Battalion and suspected New People’s Army (NPA) figured in another armed encounter in Miag-ao, Iloilo on Sunday.

The clashencounter happened at Barangay Dalije, some 3 kilometers from Alimodias village where the January 11 clash happened.

Lieutenant Colonel Sisenando Magbalot Jr., 61st IB commander, said 61IB troops encountered an undetermined number of rebels which led to a 20-minute firefight.

“We believed that they are still the same rebels that our troops encountered two days ago,” he said.

No one was injured on the government side or rebel side.

As Magbalot earlier said, encounters should be expected as they are pounding  pressure on the rebels.

During Friday’s encounter, Army troops clashed with around 30 suspected rebels from the NPA’s Komiteng Rehiyon Panay-Southern Front Committee (KRP-SFC).

The group was allegedly led by a certain Joven Ceralvo alias Lex.

But Magbalot said that the NPA troops are all “locals” and not from other island like Negros.

He said the area where the encounter happened was the NPA’s temporary harboring area.

Magbalot is not discounting the possibility that the rebels were propositioning themselves for the coming elections.

Given that the election period will start on Jan. 13, Magbalot said the rebels might also become aggressive in their extortion activities.

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