JUBAN, Sorsogon-- Eight NPA bandits were killed by operating troops belonging to the Army's 31st Infantry Battalion at 6:00am today, a military official said.
Colonel Joey Kakilala, the Commander of the 903rd Infantry Brigade which has jurisdiction over the provinces of Sorsogon and Masbate, said that the clash broke out in Calmayon village here between a platoon of soldiers and at least 20 heavily-armed bandits.
Kakilala said that the heavy exchange of fires lasted for at least half an hour after which the beleaguered members of the bandit group dispersed and ran away from the scene of the firefight.
Among the fatalities were two female members of the bandit group. The soldiers have brought the dead bandits to the village center for identification and turn over to their relatives.
Not anyone among the operating troops led by 2nd Lt Ayo was harmed in the encounter.
The troops confiscated seven high-powered firearms including three (3) M653 Rifles (Baby Armalite), 2 M16 Rifles and two 40mm M203 Grenade Launchers. An improvised bomb was also seized by the soldiers from the fleeing bandits.
Kakilala had expressed his gratitude to the people who pinpointed the location of the bandit group who is responsible for the extortion activities and attack against unarmed members of the military in the area.
"We do not rejoice over the deaths of these kababayans but we have to perform our mandate of protecting the people from these criminal groups. I call on the remnants of the bandit group to consider laying down their arms and abandon the use of armed violence. We can help each other pursue our advocacies," Kakilala said.
It can be recalled that 8 bandits were also killed by Scout Rangers in Pilar town here on September 2009.
It was followed by the death of 3 bandits and the recovery of 7 firearms in February 2010.