Four soldiers were killed in an encounter with members of the New People's Army in Kasibu town, Nueva Vizcaya, police said Friday.
Staff Sergeant Dexter John Tagacay, Corporal Jayson Sabado, Corporal Rusty Galan and Private First Class Abraham Lindo were killed in action, according to a report from Nueva Vizcaya police.
Based on an investigation, the soldiers were conducting a clearing operation when a group of rebels opened fire at them.
Meanwhile, Corporal Gerby Soriano was hit on the nape. He was rushed by police officers to the town hospital in Barangay Pudi, but was later transferred to another hospital.
Police Senior Superintendent Leumar Abugan, director of Nueva Vizcaya police, said security in the province has been heightened as authorities launched a pursuit of the rebels.