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Gov’t troops heighten pursuit ops vs. fleeing rebels

ILOILO CITY: Government troops have intensified their pursuit operations against rebels who fled in the hinterland parts of San Joaquin in Iloilo following the Feb. 28 encounter that left four members of the Southern Panay Front, Komiteng Rehiyon Panay (SPF-KR-Panay) of the New People’s Army killed and the capture of another.

Brig. Gen. Michael Samson, commanding officer of the 301st Infantry Brigade of the 3rd Infantry Division, Philippine Army, said the continued focused military operation aims to prevent the remaining forces from conducting atrocities.

‘This is a big operation because, for us, we were able to prevent a possible tactical offensive against our government forces or our communities as a whole,’ Samson said in a media interview on Monday at the Police Regional Office 6 (PRO6) headquarters here.

PRO6 acting Regional Director Brig. Gen. Jack Wanky led the presentation of recoveries at the encounter site and processed by the Philippine National Police Scene of Crime Operation, consisting of fou
r M16 rifles, one tactical rifle, four grenade launcher ammunitions, three bandoliers, 13 pieces empty magazines, 283 pieces of 5.56 mm cartridges, and 17 pieces of 7.62x39mm cartridges.

One of the M-16 rifles was from the raid of a police station in Maasin town in 2017, based on the result of the forensic examination.

Wanky said the recoveries may have intelligence value for the Philippine Army and support the ‘legal offensive’ of the PNP.

The local police station is now on full alert status following the recent encounter, he said.

Meanwhile, Samson said they continued to take care of a wounded rebel left by his comrades and eventually captured by government forces.

The rebel, identified as Rocel Nabua Esmedia, and resident of Sitio Burak, Barangay Alimodias, Miagao, is being provided all medical attention she needs, he added.

The four rebels killed in the encounter were identified as Rena Rhea Camariosa, second deputy secretary of SPF-KR Panay and resident of Barangay Manampunay, Leon; Jonathan Sasi S
anogal of Barangay Palaca, Miagao, all from Iloilo; and Patrick Reovoca and Mario Reovoca, both from Barangay Alegre, Sebaste, Antique.

Source: Philippines News Agency