HEAVY fighting on Monday erupted between patrolling Army soldiers and around 50 heavily-armed New People’s Army rebels leaving at least six troopers dead and 20 others wounded in Borongan City, Eastern Samar.
Philippine Army 8th Infantry Division spokesman Capt. Reynaldo Aragones identified the fatalities as Sgt. Rex Jadulco, Cpl. Ronald Go, Cpl. Limar Banug, Pfc. Kent Loyd Agullo, Pvt. Charlie Del Rosario and Pfc. Junmar Buranday.
Rushed to the nearest hospital for treatment were Sgt. Kenneth John Arcina, Sgt. Cyril Baja, Sgt. Rando Soria, Pfc. Albert Abegonia, Pfc. Denmark Gonsaza, Pfc. Dandreb Gealon, Pfc. Reil Bilason, Pfc. Gilbert Renegado, Pfc. Rex Batis, Pfc. Jerwin Omrob, Pvt. Darwin Aborquez, Pvt. Joshua Pacuan, Pvt. Roger Moore Ditche, Sgt. Marlon Orsal, Cpl. Dominador Antonio, Cpl. Aljon Aguillos, Cpl. Linlito Donayre, Pfc. Mark Geric De Leon, Pfc. Rene Abuda, and Pvt. Jayson Beros.
An NPA rebel was also killed in the clash.
The soldiers from the Army’s 14th Infantry Battalion went to Sitio Bangin, in Bgy. Pinana-an, Borongan City at 5 p.m. on Monday to verify reports about the presence of NPA rebels allegedly extorting money and food from the villagers.
The troopers were met with blasts from improvised explosive devices planted by the guerrillas.
The guerrillas, who were armed with automatic rifles, began shooting at the troopers as they tried to maneuver out of danger.
The wounded troopers were airlifted to the Army’s 8th Infantry Division Hospital in Catbalogan City for treatment.
Soldiers and policemen were tracking down the fleeing leftist gunmen.
PRO8 director Brig. Gen. Ferdinand Divina ordered road blockades to intercept the fleeing guerrillas.
Divina also directed his men to check hospitals and clinics in the area amid the possibility that some of the wounded rebels may have also sought hospital treatment.
Aragones said the 8th ID immediately extended assistance to the wounded soldiers and to the families of those who were killed in action.
“Bale sa ngayon, inaasikaso na ng 8th ID ‘yung mga benepisyo, immediate assistance para sa mga sugatan pati sa mga nawalan ng buhay,” the 8th ID spokesman said.
With Zaida delos Reyes