MANILA, Philippines – A suspected New People’s Army (NPA) guerilla was killed while two others were nabbed in an encounter with Army soldiers in Arakan town, North Cotabato province yesterday.
Lt. Col. Joven Gonzales, commander of the Army’s 57th Infantry Battalion, identified the slain rebel as Ramon Batoy. The two rebels arrested were Noli badol and Celso Batoy, members of the NPA’s Front 53 operating in the hinterlands of Arakan, Antipas and Magpet towns.
Gonzales said Army soldiers were conducting a clearing operation in Sitio Lumbio, Barangay Cabalantian, when they encountered the rebels. The clash took lace around 5;45 a.m.
“We ordered our men to clear Barangay Cabalantian after we received very reliable information that the NPAs are set to plant landmines in the area. The rebels are also scheduled to conduct training among the villagers. The operation was legitimate,” he said.
Troops seized firearms and an explosive after the clash.