(NOVEMBER 12, 2019) – Six soldiers were killed and 20 others were wounded when troops clashed with a large group of communist guerrillas inn Eastern Samar, an army spokesman said on Tuesday.
Captain Reynaldo Aragones, spokesman of 8th Infantry Division, said a rebel was also killed in the 30-minute gun battle in a mountainous village near Borongan on Monday afternoon.
“It is sad to announce we list six men,” Aragones told defense reporters by phone, saying the rebels had detonated six improvised bombs as soldiers from the 14th Infantry Battalion approached their positions in Barangay Pinanag-an at around 5 p.m.
The death of six soldiers in the firefight was the army’s biggest casualty in a day this year.
A 30-minute heavy firefight ensued but the New People’s Army (NPA) withdrew under cover of darkness towards the hinterlands.
Soldiers continued to pursue fleeing rebels, according to a military report.
Aragones said the army was alerted by civilians on the presence of armed men extorting money and food from villagers outside Borongan.
The 14th Infantry Battalion, which operates in the area, sent three platoons to verify the report in Sitio Bangon but were met by a 50-man rebel force which exploded improvised explosive devices.
Sergeant Rex Jadulco, Corporals Ronaldo Go and Limar Banug, Private First Class Kent Agullo and Junmar Buranday, and Private Charlie del Rosario were killed in the initial volley of gunfire and explosion.
Wounded were Sergeants Marlon Orsal, Kenneth Arcina, Cyril Baja, Rando Soria, Corporals Dominador Antonio, Jr., Aljon Aguillos, Linlito Donayre, Private First Class Albert Abegonia, Denmark Gonsaza, Dandreb Gealon, Riel Bilason, Gilbert Renegado, Rex Batis, Jr., Jerwin Omrob, Mark de Leon, Rene Abuda, and Privates Darwin Aborquez, Joshuan Pacuan, Roger Ditche, and Jayson Beros.
Aragones said an undetermined number of rebels were also wounded in the battle.
Other sections of the 14th IB were tasked to reinforce the troops, as casualties were transported to the Camp Lukban Station Hospital in Catbalogan City, Samar. (Randell Ritumalta/MM)