Three (3) soldiers were killed and four (4) others were wounded when troops from the 94th Infantry Battalion encountered undetermined number of NPA terrorists in Brgy Carabalan, Himamaylan City, Negros Occidental at 10 A.M. April 19, 2020.
The troops were conducting community security patrol in connection with the distribution of Socail Amelioration Program (SAP) of DSWD to support the affected families due to COVID19 pandemic disease in the nearby barangay.
The Army said they received series of reports regarding the presence of armed groups who were conducting alleged extortion activities in the community SAP beneficiaries asking the people to give money and rice.. So the troops were sent to protect the people. Instead 3 troopers died and 4 were wounded in that mission.
According to 303rd Infantry Brigade Commander Colonel Inocencio I Pasaporte, the soldiers were close in getting the NPA terrorist group when an improvised explosive device (IED) exploded and hand grenades were thrown inflicting immediate casualties among the soldiers. A 30-minute firefight ensued after the explosion.
“The soldiers were still pursuing the NPAs who were seen dragging their fallen, dead and or wounded comrades,” said Colonel Pasaporte
One Lieutenant and a soldier died during the fierce firefight while another expired while being evacuated. Military choppers were sent to evacuate the wounded soldiers who are now recuperating in a hospital in Bacolod City. Their names are still withheld until such time when their families are informed.
“We express our deepest sympathy to the families of our hero-soldiers who died fighting for the peace in Negros Island,” said Colonel Pasaporte. He added that the Army will heighten its operations to capture the NPA terrorists and stop them from sowing fear in the communities. (MAJ FRANCO VER LOPEZ, CMO303IB)