Renewed armed clashes between soldiers of the 62nd Infantry Battalion and about 30 New People’s Army rebels took place in Brgy. Minapasok, Calatrava, Negros Occidental, yesterday, almost a week after the ceasefire ended Jan. 3.
Lt. Col. Isabelo de los Reyes, 303rd Infantry Brigade Civil Military Operations officer, said the group of rebels encountered by a striking force of the 62nd IB led by 1Lt. Russel Lucena, are believed to be among those who had participated in a “show of force” activity of the NPA, during the recent anniversary celebration of the Communist Party of the Philippines, in northern Negros.
De los Reyes said the gunbattle lasted for almost 30 minutes, and later the rebels withdrew and left behind 24 jungle hammocks, personal belongings, assorted foodstuffs and kitchenware.
No casualty was reported on the government side, but it was not determined if there were any on the NPA side, he added.
De los Reyes said pursuit operations are still underway up to now.*GPB