Army encounters NPA in Oas, finds local camp

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Philippine Army soldiers on patrol encountered a band of alleged New Peoples Army at about 2:10 p.m. in the hinterland of Barangay Moronponros of Oas town in Albay according to 9th infantry division spokoperson Army Capt. Mardjorie Panesa on Thursday.

A 20-minute firefight with the nine-man group led by Diomedes Apimado alias Ka Delio against the government troopers ensued. The surpise encounter proved vantageous to the army as the red fighters fled soon after leaving behind an M16 assault rifle, M653 rifle, a .45-caliber pistol, documents and personal belongings according to the press release.

Panesa said no casualties were reported from the government side while blood stains were sighted along the route where the communist rebels fled.

While scouring the area for the fleeing rebels, Army soldiers chanced upon the rebel camp, situated between steep slopes and a nearby creek leading to a river line.

At the camp, soldiers found a concealed bleacher-type Anahaw hut with L-shaped bench enough to accommodate 20 persons, and a small bedroom, Panesa said.

During the pursuit operation, the soldiers met two persons at the vicinity suspected to be rebels. The suspects were identified as Socrates Rempillo, 52, and Ronnie Rempillo, 35.

The two claimed to be farmers and residents of the town and turned over to the local government of Oas.

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