OAS, Albay- Two members of the NPA bandit group were killed after engaging Army soldiers here early morning today.
Lt Col Andrew Costelo, the Commanding Officer of the 2nd Infantry Battalion said that the clash occurred at around 6:0am in the upland village of Badbad.
He said that he sent a team led by 1st Lt Rogelio Velano after receiving a 'hot info' from concerned residents about the presence of heavily-armed bandits who were collecting money and foodstuffs from them.
"The soldiers were approaching the reported location of the NPA bandits in the outskirts of the village. Sensing the presence of my soldiers, the bandits promptly engaged the soldiers in a firefight," said Costelo.
"The soldiers retaliated and outflanked the rebels using selective fires, hitting them one by one. The bandits retreated to the bushes, bringing along their casualties."
Costelo also said that Vilano and his men chased the bandits until they dispersed to save themselves from the advancing troops.
They later found two of the dead bandits still holding their respective M16 Assault Rifles.
The dead bandits were identified by the civilian residents as a certain Dennis and Peter.
"Ka Dennis is the leader of the bandits who extorted us from time to time," said one angry resident who refused to be identified for fear of reprisal.
It can be recalled that high-ranking members of the bandit group perished in the clash against government forces in Juban town, Sorsogon last week.
Col Joselito 'Joey' Kakilala, the Commander of the Army's 903rd Brigade based in Castilla town, Sorsogon said that his unit is regularly receiving tip-offs about the bandits' activities.
"Our text hotline is working and we are showing the people that the Army is always ready to defend them against these NPA extortionists. We are closely coordinating with the local police to arrest these criminals and bring them to justice," said Kakilala.