THE National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict yesterday said that an operation against the killers of Keith and Nolven Absalon have left three members of the New People’s Army in Masbate dead.
According to ELCAC spokesperson Lt. Gen. Antonio Parlade, government troops conducting “pursuit operations” encountered some 30 members of the communist terrorist groups, resulting in a firefight that lasted for about 15 minutes.
The incident took place around 5:30 a.m. yesterday in Bgy. Anas, Masbate.
Members of the 9th Infantry Division of the Philippine Army and the Philippine National Police launched an operation following a landmine blast on Sunday morning that snapped the dreams of Keith to represent the country’s flag in football, who died along with his uncle Nolven.
Keith was a varsity player of the Far Eastern University.
A minor, Chrisbin Daniel, was wounded in the attack.
“To pursue the NPA murderers of the Absalons in Masbate City, this command through the 9th Infantry Division of the Philippine Army, together with the Philippine National Police, launched operations in Masbate”, Parlade, who is also the commander of Armed Forces of the Philippines- Southern Luzon Command, said.
He said that the CTG to which the government forces encountered, was under the command of Arnold Rosero.
It took 15 minutes before the enemies retreated and scampered to different directions.
Three rebels were found dead at the clash site.
Parlade also said that an arms cache containing 12 high- powered firearms (11 M16 rifles and one M653 rifle) believed to have been left by the fleeing terrorists was discovered in a nipa hut near barangays Anas and Bolo.
The ELCAC official added that pursuit operations are ongoing.
With Alfred Dalizon