An Air Force MG-520 helicopter gunship made an emergency landing Saturday at a ricefield in Valladolid, Negros Occidental, reportedly because of low fuel.
1Lt. Rey Balibagoso, 47th Infantry Battalion Civil Military Operations officer, debunked reports yesterday that a malfunction had led to the emergency landing.
The two pilots, whose identities have not been established, were unhurt, and landed the MG-520 helicopter gunship safely.
After refueling, it proceeded to its destination at Camp Alfredo Montelibano Sr. in Bacolod City, which serves as the headquarters of the Philippine Air Force in Negros Occidental.
Balibagoso said the helicopter gunship went on an aerial reconnaissance mission after delivering a K-9 unit at the encounter site in Sitio Linumsan, Brgy. Camindangan, Sipalay City, on Saturday.
An Army soldier was slightly injured Friday in the encounter between a platoon-sized unit of the 47th Infantry Battalion led by 1Lt. Franklyn Embat and about 20 rebels in Brgy. Camindangan, Sipalay City.
The encounter happened as the 47th IB troopers pressed their manhunt operations against the assassins of 2Lt. Rigor Borja and Cpl. Juanito Fernando in the barangay two weeks ago.
In a statement, Andrea Guerrero, spokesperson of the Armando Sumayang Command, claimed responsibility for what she called a partisan operation against 47th IB soldiers in Brgy. Camindangan, Sipalay City.*GPB