16 NPA rebels die in 13-hour firefight in Eastern Samar
Firefights between government troops and New People’s Army claim 16 lives
MANILA – The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) engaged still unidentified members of the outlawed New People’s Army in series of encounters in a village in Dolores, Eastern Samar at 4:00 A.M. and lasted after 13 hours.
In an interview late Monday afternoon, Col. Ramon Zagala, AFP Spokesperson, said the elements of the Joint Task Force Storm conducted ground, air and sea operations against the NPA guerillas and acted on information provided by the local residents.
He said the residents informed government troops where the rebels manufacture explosive materials.
An initial report from the Catbalogan City-based 8th Infantry Division said there were no casualties on the government side.
“Sixteen NPAs were killed while government operatives recovered 29 high-power firearms,” said Army Captain Reynaldo C. Aragones, Jr., Chief of the 8th Division Public Affairs Office.
Over a year ago, President Rodrigo Duterte ended the peace talks with the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front after a series of violent incidents which claimed the lives of government operatives across the country.
Samar Island has been one of the hotbeds of Communist insurgency. It is characterized by poverty and susceptibility to natural calamities as it lies within the path of weather disturbances from the country’s eastern seaboard. (Melo M. Acuña)
Dolores, Eastern Samar. (Wikipedia Map)