Rebels killed, wounded in shootout
By Rhaydz B. Barcia
LEGAZPI CITY --- Five communist guerrillas were killed in a shootout with government troopers in Barangay Gujom in the municipality of Cawayan town in the island province of Masbate on Thursday, last week.
Capt. Frank Roldan, spokesperson of the Army’s 9th Infantry Division in Pili, Camarines Sur, said soldiers from the 2nd Infantry Battalion were in a security patrol when the Gujom residents tipped off the government combatants about the presence of an armed group they suspected to be rebel fighters.
Roldan reported that it was the unidentified armed men who were the first to open fire against the government forces. The shootout lasted for 20 minutes.
After the running gun battle, five members of the New People’s Army were killed in the encounter aside from the wounded ones.
Killed were Rufino Alba alias, Kaloy, commanding officer, Platoon 1, Larangan 2, Komiteng Probinsya 4. Biroc Noynoy alias Marjon, Jerome Sabang, Patrocenio Aton, and Reneboy Versaga all members of Platoon 1, Larangan 2, Komiteng Probinsya 4.
A certain Jimuel Naraja with aliases as Angel/Highblood also a member of Platoon 1, Larangan 2, Komiteng Probinsya 4 was wounded in the encounter.
Roldan said that three communist guerrilla sympathizers were also captured, they are Diosdado Riveral, Ricardo Capangpangan and Steve Riveral.
Col. Jorry Baclor, AFP Public Affairs Office chief, estimated the number of enemies to be more or less 20 individuals.
“In the 20-minute encounter, five NPAs were killed, and four were captured, including a wounded one. No one was hurt among the army men,” he said.
The government troop was able to seize in the area six high-powered firearms which include an AK47, five M16 rifles, and other equipment and belongings.
It was also reported that the government forces are still running after the remaining number of rebels who managed to escape from the shootout.
The Joint Task Force Bicolandia (JTFB), according to the Army spokesman, is closely watching the provinces of Sorsogon and Masbate against the presence of the enemies of the government.
Major General Adonis Bajao, commander of the 9th Infantry (Spear) Division, Philippine Army and Joint Task Force Bicolandia (JTFB) has called on the rebels to lay down their arms and spent their time with their own families and live a peaceful life.
“We’re saddened by the news but we cannot afford to allow terrorism to exist. We are urging our brothers in the New People’s Army to surrender, cooperate with the government and to be with their families for them to live a peaceful life,” Bajao said.