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3 NPA rebels, Cafgu slain in encounter

At least three communist New People's Army (NPA) rebels and a member of the Citizens Armed Forces Geographical Unit (Cafgu), were killed while six others were wounded in an encounter on Monday in a remote village of Makilala, North Cotabato.

Chief Insp. John Felongco Medel, Makilala town police chief, said NPA rebels harassed an Army and militia detachment in Sitio Garing, Barangay Luayon, at about 12:45 a.m. that triggered an hour-long exchange of gunfire.

Soldiers and policemen recovered the bodies of the dead, including the Cafgu member, while the six other wounded militia were brought to a hospital.

Police identified the slain Cafgu member as Jolito Apala, while the wounded were Joel Daguan, Edgar Delima, Jose Angcog, Oligario Rollurta, Raffy Aguanan and Jimmy Gonzaga.

The remains of three dead NPA rebels were recovered by responding elements of the 39th Infantry Battalion (39IB) in adjacent villages where the rebels fled.

Lt. Colonel Rhojun Rosales, 39IB chief, said pursuit operations against the NPA rebels were ongoing.

The clash erupted while the communist rebels from Guerilla Front 53 is holding captive the deputy police chief of President Roxas town, Senior Insp. Menard Cui who was abducted December 28.

Meanwhile, Medel gave the assurance that the national highway linking Davao del Sur and North Cotabato remains passable in spite of the clash that happened about eight kilometers away from the highway.

At about 5:25 a.m. two attack helicopters from the 10th Infantry Division conducted air strikes against the fleeing rebels following a clash in Barangay Luayon.

Lt. Lea Canseran, 39IB civil military operations chief, the air strikes targeted fleeing rebels in the mountains of Barangay Santo Niño, also in Makilala.

[Source: By Julmunir I. Jannaral, The Manila Times, Shariff Aguak, Maguindanao, 22Jan18]

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Peace Negotiations in the Philippines
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