FOUR members of the New People’s Army were killed in a firefight with government troops yesterday in Rizal town, Occidental Mindoro where the communist insurgents were reportedly conducting extortion activities.
Troops under the Army’s 203rd Brigade were deployed to Sitio Surong in Barangays Aguas after the military received reports a group of rebels were exploiting members of the Mangyan community through extortion.
Capt. Jayrald Ternio, spokesman of the Army’s 2nd Infantry Division based in Rizal province, said soldiers clashed with the 20- man NPA group at around 6 a.m. The rebels withdrew after a 30-minute gunfight.
Troops recovered at the encounter site the remains of the four slain rebels, one of them a female, whose identities have yet to be established.
Also recovered at the scene were eight high-powered firearms — six M16A1 rifle, an M653 rifle and an M14 rifle — and documents.
Maj. Gen. Greg Almerol, 2nd ID commander, commended the troops involved in the operation and condoled with the families of the slain rebels, saying “No family should have to suffer like this.”
“To those who are still bearing arms, please abandon this senseless armed struggle and make use of the government’s E-CLIP (Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program) to help you rebuild your new life with your families,” he added.