2 soldiers killed in Mindoro ambush; 5 NPA rebels slain in Negros Oriental

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    TWO Army soldiers were killed and two others, including an officer, were injured when they were ambushed by unidentified armed men in San Jose town in Occidental Mindoro on Wednesday afternoon.

    Col. Dennis Cana, spokesman of the AFP’s Southern Luzon Command based in Lucena City, said the suspects carted away an undisclosed amount of cash supposed to be distributed as subsistence allowance to Cafgus or militiamen in the area.

    The military withheld the names of the slain soldiers – a sergeant and a corporal – pending the notification of their families.

    Injured were Maj. Ephtaem Domingo, assigned with the Division Cafgu Affairs Unit based in Camp Capinpin in Tanay, Rizal; and a militiaman, Willie Gregorio. They are recuperating at a hospital in San Jose town.

    Meanwhile, five communist New People’s Army rebels were killed in a firefight with a joint team of soldiers and policemen at an NPA hideout in Mabinay town in Negros Oriental early morning yesterday.

    One of the slain rebels was identified as Sayas Ribilista, who was involved in the killing of four policemen during an ambush in Ayungon town, also in Negros Oriental, in July last year.

    “He’s (Ribilista) one of the rebels identified to be involved in the killing of the policemen so he was issued a warrant of arrest relative to that incident,” said Capt. Cenon Pancito, spokesman of the Army’s 3rd Infantry Division based in Capiz.

    Troops recovered at the scene the bodies of the slain rebels, three M16 rifles, an AK47 rifle, a cal. 45 pistol, four rifle grenades, improvised explosive devices, assorted magazines and ammunition and rebel documents “with high intelligence value.”