By Mary Judaline Partlow

PURSUIT OPERATIONS. A New People’s Army rebel was killed in an encounter with 11th Infantry Battalion troops in Sitio Taleo, Barangay Milagrosa, Sta. Catalina, Negros Oriental on Saturday (Aug. 26, 2023). The government troops were conducting pursuit operations following an encounter on Thursday (Aug. 24) that killed a soldier in the same area. (Photo courtesy of 11th IB)

DUMAGUETE CITY – The Philippine Army’s 11th Infantry Battalion confirmed the death of a Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) rebel during an encounter in the far-flung barangay of Milagrosa in Sta. Catalina, Negros Oriental on Saturday morning.

The military said the recovered body of the slain rebel has yet to be identified.

Also seized were one M653 rifle, one anti-personnel mine, four magazines for M653 (20 rounds cap), three magazines for M653 (30 rounds cap), 40 rounds 5.56 mm ball, an electrical tester, three lithium batteries, one bandolier, five backpacks with personal belongings, tarpaulin and food stuff.

The Saturday encounter came two days after a government soldier was killed at the same encounter site in Sitio Taleo.

The government troops were conducting strike operations against remnants of the NPA’s dismantled South East Front following information of armed men in the area.

In the first encounter, troops seized two caliber .45 pistols, three magazines for Caliber .45, 11 live ammunition for Caliber .45, one hand grenade and personal belongings.

Maj. Gen. Marion Sison, 3rd Infantry Division commander, vowed to continue their operations against the rebels.

“This incident (death of a soldier) will not dampen our spirits but will further serve as our motivation to aggressively pursue the remaining members of the Communist Terrorist Group,” Sison said.

“We will make sure that this ultimate sacrifice paid by our soldier-hero will not be in vain. We will not rest until none of them remain to continue their futile and senseless armed struggle,” he added. (PNA)