3 suspected NPA rebels killed in Pangasinan firefight

Michelle Soriano, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 26 2017 03:38 PM

Government troops recovered firearms and ammunition from New People's Army rebels at the encounter site in San Nicolas, Pangasinan. Michelle Soriano, ABS-CBN News

Three alleged members of the New People's Army (NPA) were killed in clashes against government troops in San Nicolas, Pangasinan Friday.

Pangasinan provincial director Senior Supt. Ronald Lee said the clashes began around 5:20 p.m. and lasted about 20 minutes resulting in the death of 3 unidentified suspected rebels.

Authorities also recovered an improvised explosive device, firearms, ammunition, and a map of the town of San Nicolas.

Lee said the encounter confirms the group's plan to target vital establishments in the area.

Prior to Friday's encounter, police said they have been receiving reports of NPA members demanding money from business establishments.

The police are investigating if the leftist group had already set up a headquarters in the town.

On July 28, 2016 the same group of elite cops also clashed with NPA members in the same site. PO2 Aries Tamondong, a Regional Public Safety Batallion member, was killed in the firefight.

As of Saturday, government troops are still conducting clearing operations in two villages in San Nicolas: Barangays Sta. Maria, and Malico.

The incident is the latest in clashes between state troops and communist rebels since the suspension of peace negotiations between the two sides. 

President Rodrigo Duterte in July decided to abandon the talks amid persistent rebel attacks on government forces.