BACOLOD CITY – The Philippine Army is pursuing suspected New People’s Army (NPA) members after seizing a rebel camp in the aftermath of an encounter at Brgy. Guadalope San Carlos City, Negros Occidental, April 16, 2018.
According to Capt. Emil Charlie Jaudian, acting Civil Military Operations officer of the 303rd Infantry Brigade, the NPA camp could accommodate 30 to 40 persons and is equipped with two kitchens, with a good source of water, and strong cellular phone signal.
Jaudian said the encounter between 79th Infantry Battalion troopers and NPA members lasted for about 20 minutes until the rebels abandoned their camp.
Not one state trooper was hurt in the clash while the Army is validating reports on casualties suffered by the fleeing rebels.
Government forces recovered from the camp newly-cooked rice and fresh pork, solar panel charging, motorcycle battery, subversive documents, and personal belongings.
The Division Reconnaissance Company is helping the 79IB in pursuing the rebels.
“Air Force helicopter gunships are now on standby to reinforce the Army ground troops,” Jaudian said.
Lt. Col. Emelito Thaddeus Logan, 79IB commander, said the presence of rebels in the area was relayed by concerned citizens to government troops, who immediately responded which led to the gun battle.
A total of 300 civilians were temporarily evacuated in a school in the neighboring village of Nataban because of the hot pursuit operations.
The evacuation started early Monday morning after the village chief advised civilian’s to leave.