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Monday, April 15, 2024
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HomeDNX DefenseKapung-aw sa Mansulao: The Lenten season skirmishes and the return of terrorists...

Kapung-aw sa Mansulao: The Lenten season skirmishes and the return of terrorists to dust on the foothills of Kanlaon

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BACOLOD CITY, Negros Occidental, Philippines – Communist terrorist propaganda apparently went into overdrive on the first week of the Lenten season as soldiers of the 79th Infantry Battalion and remnants of a defunct rebel front clashed in the mountains of Escalante City close to 100 kilometers or a two-hour drive north of here.

More than a week after Roman Catholic priests reminded the faithful on Ash Wednesday “from dust you art thou to dust thou shall return,” riflemen of the 79th Infantry Battalion brought down three bodies of dead rebels, two former child warriors, who were left behind by their comrades who scampered for safety after close air support by attack helicopters were called in for ground troops.

Army commands reported three rebels were found dead at the encounter site in Mansulao, a mountain community in the village of Pinapugasan in Escalante and the seizure of numerous weapons and ordnances.

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The fatalities were found after two days of running gunbattles between rifle units of the 79th IB and a band of armed remnants of the Northern Negros Front, the main guerrilla group of the Communist Party of the Philippines the 79th declared to have dismantled in 2021.

The group, believed to be led by Arnel Tapang alias Ka Jhong, had long been chased by soldiers following a series of killing of civilians in the towns of Toboso and Calatrava since last year.

The crimes were admitted by a rebel spokrsperson quoted by local media outfits (DNX not included) who said the victims – Joemarie Nabeses and Juvie Sarona – committed the oft-repeated charge
of “crimes against the people.”

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Nabeses, the reports quoted Estrella as saying that Nabeses was a government asset while Sarona is the alleged leader of a group of hired guns.

As the alleged killer band fled, soldiers and an sttack helicopter pounded them with rifle and machinegun fire, and air to ground rockets.

The 79th Battallion spokesman, Lieutenant Dan Carlo Samoza, told DNX it is highly likely that Tapang wss wounded in the series of skirmishes that started on 22 February and led to a chsse thst started in San Isidro village in Toboso town and took the soldiers to Pinapugasan in Escalante City were three rebels were found dead.

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The 79th ssid two of the dead were former child warriors (read story here) while Camp Gerona quoted 303 Brigade commander, Brigadier General Orlando Edralin as having said the condoles with the families of the dead as he called on Negrenses to cooperate and commit themselves to achieving stable internal security and peace in the island.

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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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