By Connie Calipay

RECOVERED. The firearm and ammunition recovered after an encounter between government troops and the New People’s Army (NPA) in Esperanza, Masbate on Monday (July 8, 2024). Two NPA members were killed in the clash. (Photo courtesy of 9ID)

LEGAZPI CITY – Two members of the New People’s Army (NPA) were killed in an encounter on Monday with government troops in Barangay San Roque, Esperanza town in Masbate province, the Philippine Army (PA) reported.

Maj. Frank Roldan, 9th Infantry Division (9ID) Public Affairs Unit chief, said the troops encountered at least eight rebels belonging to the Komiteng Larangang Guerilla-South, Sub-Regional Committee-4, operating in Masbate.

“After the 15-minute firefight, the NPA members escaped toward different areas, leaving behind their dead comrades. We are still waiting for the identities of the two NPA members who were killed during the clash,” he said.

Roldan said recovered at the encounter site were an M653 rifle, a caliber .38 revolver, and some personal belongings of the rebels.

Troops in the area are still conducting pursuit operations.

He also said the 9ID is encouraging the residents to continue to provide information about rebels who may be hiding.

The military also ensured the safety of the public, citing intensified operations against armed men aimed at eradicating insurgency in the Bicol region. (PNA)