ORMOC CITY- An encounter between government soldiers and members of the New People’s Army in Matuguinao, Samar resulted to the death of two rebels and recovery of several firearms. Lt. Glen Jun Calambuhay, commanding officer of the 43rd Infantry Battalion, based in San Jorge town, also in Samar, said that the May 25 encounter between his soldiers and the undetermined number of rebels took place in Barangay Mahayag, a remote village of Matuguinao. Matuguinao is still considered one of the towns in Samar where there are still presence of NPA members. According to Calambuhay, the encounter resulted to the death of two rebel members and recovery of one 5.56 Armalite rifle, one 5.56 Baby Armalite rifle and one (1) 40mm M203 grenade launcher were seized from the rebel group. The soldiers were in Mahayag at around 5:30 p.m. conducting their security operation when they were fire upon by the rebels who were also in the area. This resulted to a fire fight that lasted for more than 20 that caused the death of two rebels with no member of the government troops killed or injured, Calambuhay said. Major General Jet Velarmino, commanding general of the 8th Infantry Division based in Catbalogan City, lauded his troops’ accomplishment. “I take pride as your commander of your dedication to service which resulted to the accomplishment of your given mission,” he said. Velarmino expressed his sympathy to the bereaved families and relatives of the killed NPA rebels. “It is very tragic that they have taken arms against the Filipino nation when only through peace can development and social justice be attained,” he said. The NPA, the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines, have been waging war with the government for the past 45 years now. The government has vowed to quell the insurgency problem citing it as one the reasons why development in the countryside remain sluggish. (ELVIE ROMAN ROA)