SOUTH COTABATO - Two members of the New People's Army (NPA) were killed in a clash with government troops in Sitio Lampitok, Barangay Ned in the town of Lake Sebu in South Cotabato early Friday.
Lt. Col. Benjamin Leander, commanding officer of the 27th Infantry Battalion said his men, led by 2Lt. Glen Gautane, conducted foot patrol at around 6 a.m. after receiving reports that armed men were spotted in the area.
Around 7:50 a.m., they chanced upon a platoon of armed men, leading to a 20-minute firefight that left two communist rebels dead.
Soldiers recovered an AK-47 rifle with a bayonet and an M-14 automatic rifle from the slain men.
Leander said based on the firearms recovered, they believe that the two killed rebels were high-ranking officials.
The remains of the rebels were brought to a funeral parlor in Surallah, South Cotabato.
The military said the slain rebels were members of the Platoon Samsung, commanded by alias Bunso.
The platoon is part of the Front Committee 73 operating in remote villages of South Cotabato, Sarangani and parts of Sultan Kudarat.
Leander called on the rebels to stop harassing villagers and encouraged them to surrender, saying the government has programs for rebel-returnees.