VICTORIAS, Negros Occidental - Two soldiers were wounded in a gunfight with suspected communist rebels here on Friday, the same day that President Duterte raised the possibility of declaring martial law if encounters like this continue.
Soldiers and policemen were spreading information about the COVID-19 pandemic in Sitio Sicaba, Barangay Gawahon, when they crossed paths with gunmen believed to be from the New People's Army (NPA) around 8 a.m., said Col. Inocencio Pasaporte, commander of the 303rd Infantry Brigade of the Philippine Army.
The ensuing clash left 2 soldiers from the 79th Infantry Battalion wounded, he said. There were no immediate details yet on casualties from among the rebels.
Authorities recovered 2 homemade bombs, 2 blasting caps, a bandolier and subversive documents in the area.
Another encounter with suspected NPA fighters killed 3 soldiers in neighboring Himamaylan City last Sunday.
Duterte said earlier Friday he "might declare martial law" if lawlessness continued in the country.
- Report from Mark Gabriel Salonga, ABS-CBN News