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Army troops, NPA rebels clash in Rodriguez, Rizal

April 2, 2023 Alfred P. Dalizon 1567 views

HEAVY fighting erupted between patrolling Army soldiers and a group of heavily-armed New People’s Army guerrillas in Rodriguez, Rizal on Saturday afternoon leaving one trooper dead and an officer wounded, a Philippine National Police report said.

The leftist gunmen believed to be members of the Sub-Regional Military Area of the CPP-NPA’s Southern Tagalog Regional Party Committee were believed to have suffered a number of casualties during the clash in Sitio Kislatan, Bgy. Puray in Rodriguez municipality, which started around 5:10 p.m. Saturday.

A member of the Philippine Army’s 70th Infantry Battalion identified as Cpl. Jerome Pascual was killed while 2Lt. Junrey Caballeda was shot in his thigh during the gunbattle.

Police said that members of the Army’s 70th IB, the 80th IB and the 1st IB were conducting patrol in the area when they encountered the rebels said to be led by Janice Javier alias “Ka Yayo/Mulan,” described as the secretary of the NPA’s Kilusan Larangan Gerilya Narciso and Jordan Mopon alias “Ka Boyong”’ a platoon leader of the same guerrilla force.

A 30-minute firefight erupted between the two groups resulting in the killing of Cpl. Pascual and injuries to 2Lt. Caballeda who was leading the Army patrol.

Immediately after the encounter erupted, Army reinforcement were sent to the site as all Army and Police Regional Office 4-A patrol bases in the area set up checkpoints to intercept the fleeing gunmen.

Police were also checking local hospitals and clinics for the presence of any person undergoing treatment for gunshot wounds amid the possibility he could be a member of the NPA band.

PRO4-A director Brig. Gen. Jose Melencio C. Nartatez Jr. ordered the Rizal Police Provincial Office headed by Col. Dominic L. Baccay to intensify their conduct of checkpoint operations to intercept people carrying illegal firearms and other weapons in the province. Alfred Dalizon and Jojo Magsombol