Soldier killed, 3 hurt in Isabela clash
MANILA – A soldier was killed and three others were hurt after government troops clashed with New People's Army (NPA) rebels in San Mariano, Isabela on Tuesday.
First Lt. Rowena Abayon, public affairs officer of the Army's 5th Infantry Division, said the soldiers encountered the rebels in Balagan village before noon, following a tip from civilians that the rebels allegedly practiced extortion activities in the area.
"They were acting on information from residents who have been complaining of extortion activities from the NPA that resulted to a fierce firefight that lasted for more than an hour," Abayon said.
The fatality was identified as Pfc. Greisman Atalli, detailed with the Army's 52nd Reconnaissance Company.
The injured soldiers were identified as Cpl. Steve Bimmoy, Pfc. Roque Ganalon, and Pvt. Rafael Langao. They are recovering at a hospital in Camp Melchor dela Cruz in Gamu, Isabela.
Recovered from the scene were two improvised explosive devices and six backpacks with several documents believed to be belong to the rebels.
Abayon said, according to witnesses, there were also an unidentified number of fatalities from the rebel group, which was reportedly headed by a certain Joey Ramos, alias “Jerome” of the Sangay ng Partido sa Platun Remo.