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.