BACOLOD CITY, Negros Occidental, Philippines – Firefights amid a tropical storm broke out in the hills of Guihulngan, a city in Negros Oriental province 165 kilometers north of here as soldiers of the 62nd Battalion and suspected New People’s Army guerrillas under its mother front clashed twice, leaving one rebel dead.
Camp Gerona reported the first firefight around 3pm of 29 October 2022 was in Mambog, a community in Planas village where residents told soldiers helping them flee from their homes that armed men were bothering them.
The dispatch from Captain Mervin Rosal and the 62nd Civil Military Operations section said an estimated 20 rebels in Mambog, Planas village fired on a rifle team sent to check on the report, triggering a firefight that lasted 30 minutes.
The rebels then broke contact and fled south, the report added.
Soldiers who gave chase to the rebel band clashed with them again six hours later, around 9pm, in Ilihan, a community in the village of Buenavista, around four kilometers away.
Rosal said the armed guerrillas are under the Central Negros 1 Front, the main NPA unit in Negros island, according to underground sources.
The 62nd is among the line battalions of the 303rd Brigade that were mobilized for humanitarian missiins that included disaster search and rescue when Tropical Storm Paeng brought heavy rains to the island.
Rosal said the rebels have become hungry after days of fleeing soldiers out on focused military operations.
The Army also reported seizing a shotgun, a pistol and two-way portable radio sets.