LICTIN, SAN ANDRES,Catanduanes – Army soldiers who are pursuing the killers of a village youth leader clashed with more or less 10 NPA bandits in Catanduanes today, a military official said.
Lieutenant Colonel Danilo Aquino, Commander of the 83rd Infantry Battalion which is based here said that a squad of soldiers led by Corporal Rocky Bumalay caught up with the fleeing bandits of the Probinsyang Yunit Gerilya led by Ka James, in Magsaysay village in Bagamanoc town at around 9:30am.
A running gunbattle ensued as the bandits scampered to various directions after 5 minutes of gunfight. The soldiers reported that they have spotted the bandits dragging with them their casualties.
“No one is injured among my soldiers who figured in this firefight. They have recovered the M16 Rifle owned by one of the rebel casualties who were carried by their comrades. Three backpacks containing subversive documents were also confiscated by my soldiers,” said Aquino.
Aquino also said that pursuit operations employing more troops is ongoing as of press time. He said that civilian residents are updating the soldiers about the general direction of the bandits’ escape route.
The military authorities in Catanduanes have launched a continuous manhunt operations to arrest the rebels who shot and killed two village officials, Jay Carlo Cameleon and Lando Tavar a week ago.
The two victims were accused as military informants by the NPA rebels who are becoming weary about the accurate information fed to the military leading to the series of arrests and clashes in all of Bicol’s six provinces.
In CY 2010, the 9th Infantry Division has recorded 24 deaths among civilians as a result of the NPA’s extra-judicial killings in the Bicol region.