MANILA, July 16 (PNA) — Three New People’s Army (NPA) fighters were killed along with one soldier during a series of clashes in Sorsogon and Masbate Thursday morning.
903rd Infantry Brigade commander Col. Cesar M. Idio said three NPA “SPARU” members were killed while two soldiers from the 31st Infantry Battalion were wounded in an encounter in Barangay Bacolod, Irosin, Sorsogon at 11:30 a.m.
“SPARU” means “Special Partisan Unit” or the rebels’ assassination team.
Three pistols and a hand grenade were also recovered.
“A ‘Bayanihan’ Team of the 31st Infantry Battalion was conducting house-to-house dialogues when they were fired upon by five NPA SPARU members ensuing a 15 minute firefight,” Idio said.
Pursuit operation is still ongoing.
Earlier in Masbate, a soldier was gunned down by three NPA SPARUs in Barangay Bagacay of San Jacinto town, Ticao Island around 9 a.m.
His identity is being withheld as of this report pending notification of his next-of-kin.
“He was on his way to send money to his family when he was shot by the three NPA SPARUs. They withdrew using motorized banca after the attack,” Idio stressed.
The provinces of Sorsogon and Masbate remain to be SOLCOM’s focus area in Bicol Region.
“We are intensifying our military operations and peace efforts in these areas in order for us to achieve our shared goal of a peaceful Sorsogon and Masbate provinces,” said Southern Luzon Command head Lt. Gen. Ricardo R. Visaya.
He reminded the commanders and troops to be more alert and be security conscious to avoid NPA SPARU attacks.
“As we move towards the direction of attaining peace, we also recognize the sacrifices and heroism of our soldiers who gave their all for this shared goal,” Visaya said. (PNA)