A soldier and two militiamen were killed while another one was wounded in a clash between military troops and New People’s Army (NPA) rebels in Lianga, Surigao del Sur on Tuesday afternoon, military officials said on Thursday.
The troopers from the Army’s 75th Infantry Battalion were on combat patrol at around 4 a.m. when they engaged an undetermined number of NPA rebels in an hour-long firefight in the vicinity of Barangay (village) San Isidro in the outskirt of Lianga town, said Capt. Jasper Gacayan, civil military operations officer of the 401st Infantry Brigade.
Gacayan identified the fatalities as Cpl. Badin Pandi and militiamen Cristituto Gaanoy and Jomar Tejero.
An undetermined number of rebels were also reportedly killed from the firefight but the military said their comrades took away the bodies.
Despite recent losses, Gacayan said the state security forces will continue to adhere to the President’s order to wage war against communist guerillas who continue to conduct violent attacks against the soldiers and the public. By Ben Serrano