2 Army soldiers hurt in skirmish with NPA rebels in Tapaz

PHOTO CAPTION: The 12th Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army’s 3rd Infantry Division is still hot on the trail of the New People’s Army unit in the Tapaz, Capiz area more than a month after the gruesome killing of Cpl. Frederick Villasis (inset) by the communist insurgents./iNEWS (N. Glenn Aragon/Photos courtesy of the PA 301st Infantry Bayanihan Brigade and PNA)

CAPIZ–Two soldiers of the Philippine Army (PA) belonging to the 12th Infantry Battalion were wounded following an encounter with members of the communist New People’s Army in Brgy. Sia, Tapaz, Capiz, around 6 o’clock this morning.

According to Capt. Kim Apitong, designated spokesperson of the PA’s 3rd Infantry Division, they had received numerous calls from residents in the barangay of the presence of Communist Party of the Philippines (CCP)/NPA insurgents in the area, the reason they immediately assembled a team to visit the place.

He said that a few minutes into their arrival in the area, they chanced upon approximately 10 NPA rebels in the said barangay, and a fight ensued.

Apitong said the two injured soldiers were hit on the shoulder and foot but are now out of danger and in stable condition.

Meanwhile, it is believed that at least one person from the rebels’ side could either be injured or dead based on the many drops of blood at the encounter site.

Recovered from the encounter area were a rifle grenade, a radio, 10 cellphones, an external hard disk, and other items believed to have been taken from barangay residents.

As of press time, the Army was still conducting follow-up operations against the NPA rebels involved in the incident.

Army soldiers are still hot on the trail of NPA rebels in the area responsible for the gruesome assassination of Cpl. Frederic Villasis, team leader of the Community Support Program (CSP), who was snatched and then killed by communist guerillas in Brgy. Lahug, Tapaz, while on his way to follow-up on development projects for the village last month.

The PA’s 301st Infantry Brigade commander Brig. Gen. Marion Sison and the Western Visayas Regional Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (RTF-6-ELCAC) thru its spokesperson Atty. Flosemer Chris Gonzales both issued strong statements of condemnation against those responsible for his death. 3ID commander Maj. Eric Vinoya, meanwhile, said justice will be sought for Villasis’ death and appropriate criminal charges filed against his killers. (N. Glenn Aragon/iNEWS)

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