THE Philippine Army is tracking down members of the New People’s Army (NPA) after a clash that killed an Army corporal on Tuesday, May 16, in the outskirt of Matuguinao, Samar.
“A pursuit operation is being conducted to apprehend the rebels. Army units in nearby areas were ordered to conduct checkpoints along possible entries and exits of withdrawals of the enemy and to verify possible accommodation of wounded enemy in nearby hospitals,” said First Lieutenant Cherry Junia, chief of the Philippine Army 8th Infantry Division public affairs office.
A firefight erupted around 9:45 a.m. Tuesday, in the village of Mahayag, Matuguinao town, Samar, when the 43rd Infantry Battalion based in Lope de Vega, Northern Samar, chased the NPA rebels who were asking for food and medicines from the villagers.
The clash lasted around 15 minutes. Killed in the encounter was Corporal Renjie Ada.
Junia said there were an undetermined number of casualties on the enemy’s side.
Matuguinao, a fifth-class farming town is about 105 kilometers north of Tacloban City. Most of its 20 villages are infested by rebels due to poor road networks and thick forest.
Samar is known to be one of the hotbeds of armed rebels in the country. Several encounters between the Army and NPA had been reported in Samar in the past years. (PNA)