Scout rangers of the Philippine Army arrested three suspected members of the New People's Army in a hot pursuit operation yesterday after an encounter in Guihulngan City, Negros Oriental.
Brig. Gen. Francisco Patrimonio, 302 nd Infantry Brigade commander, identified those captured as Jessie Abing, 25, of Barangay Nasunggan, La Libertad, and Thomas Esugan, 19, of Brgy. Buenavista, Guihulngan, all in Negros Oriental, and a 17 year old from Barangay Camandag, La Castellana in Negros Occidental.
He said the soldiers recovered from the three an M-14 Armalite rifle with several rounds of live ammunition and backpacks. “They were captured in the vicinity of the encounter site as government forces were pursuing suspected rebels,” Patrimonio said.
He also said troops of the 3 rd Scout Ranger Company of the First Scout Ranger Battalion clashed with around 20 suspected NPA rebels at around 12:50 p.m. yesterday in Sitio Cansayawan, Barangay Linantuyan in Guihulngan.
After several minutes of firefight, the rebels split, and some of them fled southeast and others northeast. No casualties were reported on the government side but Patrimonio said the Army believes the NPAs suffered casualties.
The pursuit operation led to the arrest of the three, who were turned over to the 11 th IB in Camp McKinley, Guihulngan, for custody, and will be later be handed over to the police for detention and the filing of criminal charges, Patrimonio said.
He added that more troops were dispatched to Guihulngan to reinforce the government forces, and they have heightened their security and established checkpoints to secure the civilians against the fleeing rebels.
He said they will continue relentlessly with their combat operations to reduce the insurgency problem in Negros Oriental, and admitted that Guihulngan, which military and police authorities have tagged as a rebel stronghold, still has many barangays affected by insurgency.*
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