By Sarwell Meniano

The map showing the location of Basey, Samar. (Google image) 

TACLOBAN CITY – A combatant of the New People’s Army (NPA) was killed and another was wounded in a clash with government forces in an upland village of Basey, Samar on Thursday.

Brig. Gen. Noel Vestuir, commander of the Army’s 802nd Infantry Brigade, said troops of the 63rd Infantry Battalion recovered an M16 rifle and other war materiel after the clash with 10 NPA fighters belonging to the Bugsok Platoon of the NPA’s sub-regional committee.

“The retreating NPAs abandoned one of their dead comrades, and a wounded NPA was captured by government forces. The wounded NPA was immediately given proper medical attention and care by the troops,” Vestuir said in a phone interview.

Acting on tips from villagers about the presence of armed men, soldiers have intensified their operations in the area.

The military was still gathering more details about the clash as of this writing.

Vestuir said the NPA platoon operating in Basey and nearby towns has been weakened in recent years with the surrender of their leaders and members, the death and capture of some fighters, and the recovery of several firearms.

Their leaders and fighters are also aging with no recruits, according to Vestuir.

Basey, a first-class town in Samar province, is about 43 km. northeast of Tacloban, the regional capital.

The Army is largely counting on regular dialogues between local authorities and family members of active NPA rebels to encourage the latter to surrender and to recover more firearms in the Samar provinces. (PNA)