CAMALIG, Albay- Three soldiers lost their lives while fighting NPA bandits in Albay province on Monday (May 20), a military report said.
They were part of a nine-man squad led by Corporal Seniadan which was sent to conduct security patrol in the hinterland village of Maninila of this town.
Hiding behind the bushes, the bandits surprised the soldiers by spraying bullets on them, triggering an intense exchange of fires at around 12:00 nn.
Despite incurring initial casualties in the landmine that the bandits detonated, the soldiers fought back to repulse the numerically superior bandit force.
The bandits retreated to the mountains bringing along their own wounded comrades.
More soldiers were sent to reinforce the beleaguered patrol. The dead soldiers were transported to a military camp while the wounded soldier was treated in a hospital in Legaspi City.
It can be recalled that grave sites containing the human remains of NPA bandits who were executed by their own comrades were found by the local police and the 2nd Infantry Battalion in 2010.
A former NPA member who had surrendered to the Army guided the soldiers to the specific location where the victims were buried since the 1980's.
A small group of NPA bandits is roaming the upland villages here.
Civilian residents have complained to government authorities about the NPA's extortion activities.