Army confirms NPA encounters, denies air strikes
MALAYBALAY CITY (BukidnonNews.Net/18 February 2020) The chief of the 8th Infantry Battalion has confirmed in a radio interview that government forces have clashed with rebels in Sitio Gabunan, Dumalaguing, Impasug-ong town early Tuesday morning.
Battalion Commander Lt. Col. Ronald Illana told RMN-Malaybalay’s Straight to the Point program that the New People’s Army was target of artillery (kanyon) shelling early morning of February 18.
He said, as quoted in the 10:30 a.m. RMN report, the army responded to a report of rebel presence in the area. Lt. Col. Illana clarified however that the military did no air strikes but admitted to using “air assets” as support in their pursuit operations. Merriam-Webster defines air strikes as an attack in which military airplanes drop bombs.
Residents took to social media their experience waking up to strange explosion-sounding noises by early Tuesday morning. Videos of reported air strike also flooded Facebook.
Lt. Col. Illana told RMN-Malaybalay the troops encountered personnel of the rebel’s Guerilla Front 89 Sub-regional committee No. 2.
RMN reporter Jun Maban also quoted Lt. Col Illana to have confirmed separate military encounter in Mt. Kalatungan mountain range, near Brgy. Lilingayon, Valencia City. (BukidnonNews.Net)