BACOLOD CITY, Negros Occidental, Philippines – Communist guerrillas ambushed and killed three Army soldiers on a security patrol for the distribution of government subsidies in the upland village of Carabalan in the southern city of Himamaylan, some 80 kilometers from here.
Four other soldiers were wounded.
A dispatch out of the Army’s Camp Gerona where the 303rd Infantry Brigade is based said the soldiers under the 94th Infantry Battalion were part of a unit securing the distribution of the Social Amelioration Program in the upland village when it clashed with an undetermined number of rebels around 10am today, 19 April.
The Army added they have already received a series of reports regarding these rebels who have been forcing people to give them money and rice.
303rd Infantry Brigade commander, Col. Inocencio I Pasaporte, said the soldiers were close to “getting the NPA terrorist group” when an improvised explosive device (IED) exploded and hand grenades were thrown by the rebels, inflicting immediate casualties among the soldiers.
A 30-minute firefight followed.
“The soldiers are still pursuing the NPAs terrorist who were seen dragging their dead and wounded comrades,” Pasaporte addes.
A lieutenant and a soldier died during the fierce firefight while another died while being evacuated.
Military choppers were sent to evacuate the wounded soldiers who are now recuperating in a hospital in Bacolod City.
The names of the dead are still being withheld until their families can be informed.
“We express our deepest sympathy to the families of our hero-soldiers who died fighting for the peace in Negros Island,” Pasaporte said.