Government forces continuing to pursue New People’s Army rebels around the area of Bataraza in southern Palawan figured in another clash with the fleeing insurgents Wednesday afternoon near the border of Rizal and Bataraza towns, a military official said.
Lt. Col. Danilo Facundo, commanding officer of the Marine Battalion Landing Team – 4 said the encounter lasted about an hour at the boundary of Barangay Malihud in Bataraza and Barangay Culasian in Rizal.
The reported firefight was the third of similar skirmishes between the marines and rebel elements reported since last week, as the government undertook “focused military operations” in the area to flush out the insurgents.
Facundo said the marines, led led by 1Lt. Geovanni Bangoy, engaged the NPA which fled the area with their wounded companions based on traces of blood they found. He added they recovered from the site homemade shotguns and a mobile phone.
“They have injured members based on the bloodstains discovered by our troops. We can’t ascertain how many, but there were bloodstains in the area,” he said.
The first encounter between military forces and the NPA occurred on July 21 at Sitio Kambingan, Malihud. The second followed on July 23, also in the same barangay but in the area of Sitio Ilyan.