Police and military officials lauded the timely tip given by the concerned residents in Barangay Bantolinao, Manjuyod of the alleged plan of the communist rebels to plant land mines along the route that the mercy mission would have taken last week.
Bomb sniffing dogs confirmed the attempted ambush utilizing landmines that could inflict huge damage and deaths to a large contingent of government service providers who joined the medical and dental mission for the remote barangay of Bantolinao in a convoy spearheaded by Region 7 Director Police Brigadier General Debold Sinas, Negros Oriental Police Provincial Office Director Col. Raul Tacaca, Brigadier General Ignacio Madriaga Commander of the 302nd Brigade and Mayor Felix Sy.
In a statement, Tacaca condemned the treachery and rallied the people to reject the ideology and instead support the efforts to bring government closer to them.
Hours after the medical and dental mission concluded, soldiers belonging to the 94th Infantry Battalion the 704th Maneuver Company RMFB7 engaged a group of rebels in a fire fight that lasted an hour. Three soldiers were wounded while one alleged rebel was killed.
Soldiers who cleared the encounter site claimed to have recovered they recovered five (5) landmines, One (1) rifle grenade, One (1) hand grenade, assorted ammunitions, two (2) cellular phones, twenty-four (24) pieces of eveready battery with wires, one (1) AM/FM radio, one (1) sack of rice and subversive documents.
As a result of the NPA-Army clash, residents from several affected barangays evacuated to the town center to avoid being caught in the crossfire. Municipal officials readily gave food packs to the evacuees.