In this file photo, a military chopper conducts aerial reconnaissance over Samar island which was also badly hit by supertyphoon Yolanda (intl name: Haiyan) in November 2013. A small group of NPA bandits are still challenging the peace and security of the province despite the government's call for peaceful resolution to the four decades-long armed conflict. (Photo by Lt Col Harold M Cabunoc)
MATUGUINAO, SAMAR- Two members of the NPA bandit group were killed in a clash with an Army patrol in an upland village of Mahayag here late afternoon on Monday, May 26.
Lt. Col. Glen Calambuhay, the Commanding Officer of the 43rd Infantry Battalion, said that a platoon-size of his troops were conducting security operations in the hinterlands of this town when they were fired upon by unspecified number of bandits at around 5:30pm.
"My soldiers engaged the NPA bandits who were hiding in the bushes. My unit's effective delivery of accurate fires caused the bandits to retreat in disarray, leaving behind two dead comrades and three high-powered firearms," said Calambuhay, a member of PMA 'Sambisig' Class of 1991.
The soldiers who scoured the encounter site confiscated three long firearms which were left behind by the fleeing bandits. The firearms haul include one Cal. 56mm M16 Rifle, one Cal 5.56mm M653 and one 40mm M203 Grenade Launcher.
No one was hurt among the operating elements who figured in the clash.
Major General Jet Velarmino, the Commander of the 8th Infantry Division lauded the unit for its latest accomplishment.
However, he expressed his sympathy to the families and relatives of the NPA rebels who were killed.
“It is very tragic that they have taken arms against the Filipino nation when only through peace can development and social justice be attained.”
While some of the troops are conducting security patrols in bandit-infested hinterland villages, another group of soldiers are supporting the rehabilitation and reconstruction efforts of the government.
Both of the Army's 801st and 802nd Brigade are collaborating with stakeholders in implementing community projects including the 'Bangka ng Buhay, Bunga ng Bayanihan' project that is funded by Metrobank Foundation Incorporated.
This aerial photo shows the San Juanico Bridge that links the island provinces of Leyte and Samar. Both provinces are under the jurisdiction of the Army's 8th Infantry Division. (Photo by lt Col Harold M Cabunoc)