‘Expect more armed clashes’

THE military expects more armed encounters between the Philippine Army troops and the New People’s Army (NPA) in Panay Island.

This, after Col. Benedict Arevalo, 301st Infantry Brigade commander, said it is “business as usual” for the government troops.

“We would be conducting unrelenting offensive and security operations all over Panay area because we have been receiving persistent reports of the NPA’s extortion activities,” Arevalo said.

Arevalo said, since they posted their hotline numbers on social media, civilians have been reporting the presence of NPA activities in their areas.

“Tuloy-tuloy ang dating ng information sa amin. It helps that the public knew that we don’t take for granted the reports they made to us,” Arevalo said.

Once they receive the report, Arevalo said that they verify and go after the rebels.

“We would surely hit them hard. That’s the plan,” Arevalo added.

The 301st Infantry Brigade can be reached through hotline numbers, 0928-175-7208 and 0916-766-3740.

The latest clash between members of the Philippine Army’s 61st Infantry Battalion (IB) and suspected NPA happened in Maayon, Capiz, afternoon of Sept 6, 2018.

The incident occurred hours after another platoon from the 61st IB encountered NPA rebels at 4:50 a.m. of the same day at Barangay Malublub, Leon, Iloilo.

Reports from the 301st IB said the troops from the 61st IB were conducting security patrol when they encountered around 10 suspected NPA members under the Sangay Partido Pampropaganda -East, Komiteng Rehiyon-Panay (KRP) at Sitio Gumawa, Barangay East Villaflores around 3:50 p.m. Thursday.

The gunfight lasted for around 20 minutes before the rebels withdrew towards Bongbongan village.

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