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HomeProvincial NewsAfter-Battle Report | Early tiempo muerto for Reds: Army foils NPA "terror...

After-Battle Report | Early tiempo muerto for Reds: Army foils NPA “terror plan” and tax collection campaign in Carabalan, Himamaylan clash

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BACOLOD CITY, Negros Occidental, Philippines – Army brigade commander Colonel Orlando Edralin has confirmed one of its line units has foiled terror plans of a rebel front in southern Negros after a firefight yesterday in the mountain village of Carabalan in Himamaylan City led to the death of four heavily-armed guerrillas believed to be part of a main fighting force and the regional strike force of the New People’s Army in the island.

The clash came on the first day of March, the month when the NPA marks its founding anniversary and when the tiempo muerto or the dead season starts in the island.

The dead season are lean months in the sugar capital of the country during which sugarcane starts to grow to maturity, usually until the third quarter of the year.

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Edralin heads the 303rd Infantry Brigade, which commands the 94th Battalion that engaged the rebels yesterday in a running gunbattle leading to at least three skirmishes starting 6am yesterday and ended many hours later with the discovery of three dead rebels, the seizure of four battle rifles and a stack of extortion letters that were supposed to be handed out to their targets.

The brigade chief added the first clash lasted around 20 minutes, an indication that there were “very important persons” or VIPs were in the rebel bivouac that the 94th IB soldiers found.

He added it is even possible that a plenum or meeting of ranking Communist cadres was being conducted.

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Camp Gerona had said yesterday the clash came after a security patrol was sent out by the 94th that acted on information relayed by village officials of Carabalan from miuntainfolk complaining about the rebels forcing them to give food or money.

He added the Regional Strike Force of the Regional Committee of the CPP could have been with the unit of the Central Negros Front 2 engaged by the 94th based on the analysis of their firepower.

Rebel sources say a front is an area of influence being claimed by the CPP and usually covers towns and cities usually equivalent to a political district of the government.

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The same sources added the regional strike force is directly under the command of the Regional Party Committee and serves as the main fighting force for the NPA during major tactical offensives.

It is usually made up of senior and experienced fighters organized into platoons with a machinegun for each platoon and at least two Browning Automatic Rifles or BAR.

Each squad in the platoon is supposed to have one guerrilla with an M203 under-barrel grenade launcher.

Soldiers found the four dead bodies the Army said was left behind by the “scampering rebels” after the gunfight and also seized four battle rifles – two M16s and two AK47s – and explosives like grenade launcher rounds and hand grenades.

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Julius D. Mariveles
Julius D. Mariveles
An amateur cook who has a mean version of humba, the author has recently tried to make mole negra, the Mexican sauce he learned by watching shows of master chef Rick Bayless. A journalist since 19, he has worked in the newsrooms of radio, local papers, and Manila-based news organizations. A stroke survivor, he now serves as executive editor of DNX.
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