MANILA, Philippines – Four New People’s Army (NPA) rebels and a member of the Citizen Armed Force Geographical Unit (CAFGU) were killed in an encounter in Barangay Bacungan, Magsaysay, Davao del Sur on Wednesday, the military said.
The fatality from the government side was identified as Leonardo Cainget.
A government militiaman, identified as Dionato Obias, was also hurt in the clash that occurred around 1:45 p.m.
Lt. Col. Lyndon Paniza, spokesman of the Army's 10th Infantry Division, said about 30 rebels attacked a detachment of the 27th Infantry Battalion in Bacungan village, where a fiesta was being celebrated.
"We have been working on such scenarios. The enemy usually exploits such situations. During an activity like this (fiesta), our troops are on alert at the detachments because based on our experience. They (rebels) take advantage of such opportunity (in mounting attacks)," he said.
Paniza said 2 bodies of the slain rebels were recovered.
"Initially, they carried 4 fatalities. Maybe because they are afraid that pursuing troops would catch up on them, they abandoned 2 of their dead. But they carried with them 2 others. I suspect that the 2 they took with them are ranking,” the spokesman said.
Paniza added that government troops recovered an M14 rifle, a shotgun, a fragmentation grenade, assorted ammunition and 20 backpacks from the clash. -- With a report from Edwin Sevidal, dzMM