TACLOBAN CITY– A military and an alleged rebel were killed in an encounter in a remote village of Northern Samar on Monday (March 20).

The encounter between the government troops and the communist armed members took place in Barangay Geparayan de Turag, which is more than five kms away from the center of Silvino Lobos town at about 12:37 pm.

The 20-minute firefight resulted in the death of a Scout Ranger member, Private Modesto Lutob, and a rebel member.

The government troops, belonging to the Scout Ranger Battalion, also recovered an M-16 rifle from the rebels who fled after the firefight.

Col. Efren Morados, the commanding officer of the 803rd Infantry Brigade based in Catarman, Northern Samar, said that the soldiers were in the area after receiving information on the presence of an armed group.

Major Gen. Camilo Ligayo, the commanding general of the 8th Infantry Division based in Catbalogan City, Samar, expressed his condolences to the family of the killed soldier.
“His heroism and gallantry in action in serving the people of Northern Samar to support the attainment of lasting peace and development should never be forgotten,” he said in a statement.

The province of Northern Samar has been identified by military officials in the region to be the ‘last bastion’ of communist insurgency in Eastern Visayas with four of the five communist guerilla fronts remain to be operating.

December of last year, the elite Scout Ranger members were deployed to Northern Samar to boost in the campaign against the rebels.