4 NPA rebels killed in Nueva Ecija clash

MANILA, Philippines—Four New People’s Army (NPA) rebels were killed in a five-minute armed encounter with government troops in Barangay (village) Digmala, Bongabon, Nueva Ecija, Thursday night, a military spokesman said.

Major Enrico Ileto of the Army 7th Infantry Division identified one of the fatalities as Benjamin Peralta, alias Gani/Otoy/Onil, who was usually called the “secretary,” which meant he was the highest-ranking leader in terms of maintaining the ideological capacity of the NPA unit. Also killed was a certain alias Sarah.

Troops of the 81st Infantry Battalion under First Lieutenant Saturnino Enofre recovered one M16 rifle, one Carbine rifle, one .45-cal. pistol, two improvised explosives, two fragmentation grenades, food stuffs, assorted medicines and documents with “high intelligence value,” Ileto said.

The soldiers in the area were coordinating with local government units and agencies for the identification of the other two fatalities and the disposition of the four dead NPA members, he added.—Frances Mangosing

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