A 10-minute encounter between Philippine Army soldiers and members of the New People’s Army in a hinterland barangay of San Miguel last week led to the recovery of land mines, an Armalite rife and ammunition.
A report of the 83rd Infantry Battalion (PA) stated that the clash between its troops and members of the so-called Communist Terrorist Group (CTG) occurred at about 2:10 PM of May 3, 2023 in sitio Caglatawan in barangay Juan M. Alberto (JMA) in the landlocked town.
Responding to information given by residents regarding the suspicious presence of armed men in the village, the Army unit conducted a security operation and subsequently encountered five CTG members, with the gun battle lasting for about 10 minutes.
There was no casualty on the government side, according to the report, while the guerillas sustained undetermined casualty.
Left behind by the fleeing CTG members were an M16 rifle, two bandoliers of ammunition, five (5) anti-personnel mines, a roll of detonating wire, seven (7) long steel magazines, a rifle grenade, three keypad-type cellular phones, three backpacks, three hammocks, and assorted medicines.
The report added that following the incident, the troops immediately secured the area and conducted a follow-up operation.
A reliable source told the Tribune that the Army unit involved in the encounter came not from the Army detachment in San Miguel but rather from its base in San Andres on the other side of the island.
Blood stains were allegedly seen at the encounter site, leading the unit that the communist guerillas suffered casualties.
The enemy combatants were apparently resting within an abaca plantation, occupying two makeshift huts or “tugod” where abaca farmers usually take a rest or strip abaca.
Photos of the encounter site showed two hammocks still strung beneath one hut with sackolin roof while at the other, bigger hut, clothes were hung to dry on a string and makeshift hangers