By Alexander Lopez

DEAD REBELS. Two communist rebels lay dead following a clash with government troops in Barangay Sangay, Buenavista, Agusan del Norte on Monday (Jan. 29, 2024). Another rebel was captured during the encounter. (Photo courtesy of 23IB)

UTUAN CITY – Two communist New People’s Army (NPA) guerillas were killed while another was captured in an encounter with government troopers in Agusan del Norte’s town of Buenavista on Monday morning.

Brig. Gen. Adonis Ariel Orio, the Army’s 402nd Infantry Brigade (Bde) commander, said the clash erupted between the troopers of the 23rd Infantry Battalion (IB) and the rebels following a report from residents in Sitio Kipundaw, Barangay Sangay of the town.

Government troops seized two high-powered firearms, an M16 rifle and an M4 rifle, during the encounter.

One of the dead rebels was identified as Fuerlan Sugalong, a member of the NPA Sub-Regional Sentro De Grabidad Sagay (SRSDG Sagay) under the North Central Mindanao Regional Committee.

The other one was only known as “Kasikas,” a political instructor.

The captured NPA rebel, identified as Romeo Maestrado Micabalo, is also a member of SRSDG Sagay.

“The government troopers sustained their momentum following the two armed encounters that occurred in its area of operation in Agusan del Norte and Butuan City earlier this month,” Orio said in a statement.

On Jan. 16, an encounter took place between government troopers and the rebels in Barangay Simbalan, Buenavista town that resulted in the death of two NPA rebels and the surrender of two others.

On Jan. 24, a clash also transpired in Barangay Bitan-agan here. Two female NPA guerillas were captured.

Two NPA couriers yield

Meanwhile, two NPA couriers in the same province surrendered to the police over the weekend, the Police Regional Office in the Caraga Region (PRO-13) said.

Maj. Jennifer Omiter, PRO-13 information office chief, identified the surrenderers as Jhonny Escobal and Rey Doldol, both aged 46 and who separately yielded in Remedios T. Romualdez town on Saturday night.

Omiter said the duo surrendered to the police’s 2nd Agusan del Norte Provincial Mobile Force Company. (PNA)