MANILA, Philippines – A government soldier was killed in a clash with gunmen believed to be affiliated with the New People's Army (NPA) in the town of Pantukan, Compostela Valley Thursday morning, a military official said.
The gunfight occurred when soldiers of the 71st Infantry Battalion conducting security patrol encountered the suspected rebels in Sitio Camarin, Brgy. Napnapan at around 10 a.m.
Troops have been sent to the area to conduct pursuit operations, according to battalion commander Lt. Col. Jerry Borja.
“We grieve for losing another hero, but this will not affect our commitment to bring peace and development in the communities,” he said.
Borja added that the incident will serve as motivation to “do more to win the peace and help uplift the life of the people in Pantukan and to give justice to the lives sacrificed by fallen soldiers.”
The soldier’s identity was withheld pending the notification of his family.