BACOLOD CITY, Negros Occidental, Philippines – The rains and the sugar harvest season or tiempo suerte might be here but the uplands of Negros island are simmering as Communist rebels and State troopers clashed repeatedly in less than a week here with gunbattles erupting in both the Occidental and Oriental provinces.
As of today, 13 October, there have been eight clashes so far, the latest in Guihulngan City, Oriental Negros that the 62nd claimed took place between fleeing rebels under the Central Negros 1 Front of the Communist regional committeefor Negros, Cebu, Bohol and Siquijor provinces.
First Lieutenant Roselyn A Balean said today’s clash came after a brief firefight yesterdsy with an estimated five Red fighters in Calupaan, a mountain village.
“According to a reliable report, these CNTs are planning to conduct harassment and extortion activities against the peace-loving citizens of Guihulngan City and neighboring municipality of Vallehermoso,” the 62nd IB acting spox added.
Bloodstains found on the trail of the fleeing rebels indicate one wounded Red fighter.
She reported no dead or wounded on their side.
At the center of the conflict in Negros is Himamaylan, a city 60 kilometers south of here where running gunbattles in several of its mountain villages since last week, 6 October 2022, have led to three dead and six wounded so far.
Thousands of villagers from the communities of Carabalan and Buenavista have also been evacuated so far as part of measures to ensure the safety of these people, civil and military officials have said.
The fatalities are a top-ranking rebel and two Army corporals of the 94th Battalion while the wounded are six troopers of that unit.
The Army reported a sixth clash yesterday afternoon, 12 October 2022, in Himamaylan City but did not release details.
Hours later, the 62nd Battalion reported the first clash between one of its rifle units and a the rebels.