2 soldiers slain, 8 injured as rebels, govt troops clash in Negros town

KABANKALAN City, Negros Occidental—Five days after owning responsibility for the burning of National Irrigation Authority (NIA) assets, alleged New People’s Army (NPA) guerillas launched another attack on May 12.

The attack left two soldiers killed and eight others injured in an ambush at Barangay Tan-awan in this city.

The fatalities were identified as PFC Vicente Marcon and Sgt. Sandy Arevalo. Those injured were identified as Pvt John Daryle Delgado, Joven Taghap, Ryan Las Piñas; PFC Kenneth Cerbo, Michael Besana, Angelito Bariga, Voltair Catamin and Sgt. Niño Nabaunag.

In an interview over the radio, 62nd Infantry Battalion Commander Lt. Col. Darell Bañez said they were patrolling the area as part of the preparations for the Barangay and Sanguninag Kabataan elections today (May 14) when they were fired upon by the alleged rebel group.

In a statement, the Mount Cansermon Command of the NPA denied staging an ambush and claimed it was an encounter that lasted for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, Capt. Ruel Llanes, spokesman of the 303rd Brigade, said there were around 60 armed men that fired at them. The firefight also lasted for two  hours and not 30 minutes as claimed by the communist group, Llanes said.

The rebel group then escaped toward the next city in Barangay Buenavista, Himamaylan.

Last week authorities said NPA guerillas torched a bunk house and a backhoe of the NIA.

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Claudeth Mocon-Ciriaco is a grant recipient and fellow of 2017 media fellowship program by Probe Media Foundation Inc. She is a graduate of Bachelor of Mass Communication from the Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila (PLM). After graduating in 2000 she immediately worked as a newspaper correspondent for Today Newspaper until 2005. Within those five years in Today Newspaper, she was assigned to cover the Eastern Police and Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), Rizal Province, and the Departments of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and Tourism (DOT). In October of 2005, she became a correspondent for the Philippine Business Daily Mirror Publishing, Inc. She covers Health, Education, MMDA, the local government units in the eastern and southern portions of the metropolis, and Rizal Province.

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