TACLOBAN CITY– Two alleged members of the communist armed group, the New People’s Army (NPA), died after they engaged in a gun battle with government troops in a remote village in Basey, Samar on Friday (April 14) afternoon.

The two, whose identities have yet to be known, sustained several gunshot wounds on their bodies that caused their immediate deaths after a 20-minute firefight in sitio Bagti of Barangay Manlilibad, Basey town at about 1:20 pm.

The soldiers, belonging to the 63rd Infantry Brigade, were conducting their military operation in the area when they encountered about 17 rebel members.

The encounter led to a firefight between the two groups with the remaining rebels escaping to a forested area.

The rebels left behind five firearms of still unknown caliber and nine magazines.

The dead bodies of the rebels were brought to the village proper for possible identification.
Government troops in Eastern Visayas have been engaging the rebels for more than 50 years now but claimed that they have dismantled two of the four remaining guerilla fronts of the communist rebels.

The region’s top military officer, Major Gen. Camilo Layug, the commanding general of the 8th Infantry Division, earlier said that they are confident that they can finish the insurgency problem of the region within the year. (JOEY A. GABIETA)