SAN FERNANDO CITY, La Union, Aug. 9 (PIA) - - The officials of the local government unit (LGU) of Sta. Lucia in Ilocos Sur and the operatives of the police and the Philippine Army have secured the residents in Barangay Suagayan, Sta. Lucia town during an encounter between the army troops and the NPA rebels that started on Saturday afternoon, August 8.
The encounter ended on Sunday morning that resulted in the death of six members of the New Peoples' Army (NPA) involving an amazon and a team leader, one soldier, and a civilian from Barangay Parioc, Candon City. Five soldiers and two civilians who are both residents in Candon City, and an undetermined number of NPA rebels were also wounded during the encounter.
According to Santa Lucia town's Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Officer Romeo Buenavista, more than 190 residents in Suagayan village were secured during the encounter.
Buenavista said that Santa Lucia town mayor Joseph Simon B. Valdez has directed all concerned departments of LGU- Sta. Lucia to assist the affected residents.
"At least 90 residents were safely evacuated to the safer ground during the encounter as the army and police operatives provided them with security," he said.
"We also provided food assistance to more than 100 residents, who were trapped at Sitio Manayon of the Suagayan Village during the encounter," he added.
After the encounter, Buenavista said that all the residents in Barangay Suagayan are now safe.
Meanwhile, army Major Rogelio Dumbrigue, the commanding officer of the Civil-Military Operation (CMO) of the army's 7th Infantry Division, confirmed the identities of the two dead NPA rebels as Ka Maymay and Rolando Marvil, AKA Eugene, a team leader of the Kilusang Larangang Guerilya - Southern Ilocos Sur (KLG-SIS). The process of identification of the four other dead NPA rebels is ongoing.
The name of the killed soldier will be release once the family has been informed.
He said that the encounter started at about 2:00 PM on Saturday. The combined operating troops of the different units of the army's 702nd Infantry Brigade responded to the reports from the concerned citizens of Barangay Suagayan about the presence of at least 15 fully-armed NPA rebels in their place.
He said that the fully-armed NPA rebels are members of the KLG-SIS headed by a certain Ronnie Garvida, AKA Nero.
During the initial clearing operation, Dumbrigue said that the operating troops have recovered from the encounter site four M-16 Armalite rifles, one M-14 rifle, one carbine rifle, one shotgun rifle, and two hand grenade.
"Hot pursuit operations to the escaping NPA rebels are ongoing," Dumrigue said. (JCR/FGL/PIA-1)