BACOLOD CITY, Negros Occidental, Philippines – A rifle unit of the Army’s 94th (Mandirigma) Battalion clashed today with rebels as March 2023 opens, the month when the New People’s Army marks its founding anniversary.
Army Lt. Col. Von Donald Almonte told DNX at least 20 fully-armed guerrillas of the New People’s Army clashed with State troopers around 6:20am in the upland community of Medel, near the area where top NPA commander Romeo Nanta was slain last year.
Camp Gerona civil military officer, Captain Mervin Rosal, said in a separate release that a resident in the area reported to village officials about the rebels who are forcung them to give money or food.
The citizen, the 303rd official said, “had grown tired of the daily extortion.”
Almonte also said the unit that clashed with his soldiers today, is probably the same one they clashed with last month in the neighboring city of Kabankalan.
It is the same main fighting body or sentro de grabidad of the Central Negros Front 2 where slain Communist island deputy Ericson Acosta based himself.
Acosta, a Manila-based CPP cadre, was deployed to Negros according to the military, to become one of the deputy heads of the consolidated Negros-Cebu-Bohol-Siquijor leadership committed based in the island.
He was killed on 30 November 2022 in Kanankalan City, more than a year after his wife, Kerima Tariman, was killed in a clash with soldiers on 20 August 2021 in Silay City.
The Army said she was deployed to Negros in an attempt to shore up the waning forces of the CPP-NPA and to head the Northern Negros Front that the military said had already been “dismantled.”