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Bontoc encounter leaves three dead

SOUTHERN LEYTE – One Philippine army soldier and two alleged New People’s Army members were killed in an hour-long clash about noontime last August 18, 2021 in a mountainous area of barangay Lawgawan, located between barangays Pamigsian and Olisihan at Bontoc municipality of this province.
The Philippine Army 802nd Infantry Brigade and local officials confirmed the fatalities.
During the skirmishes, Ssg Benedict A. Diño of 14th Infantry Battalion was hit and died on the spot, while his buddy Pfc Bernard Jack L. Idlisan was wounded and given immediate treatment. The 14th Infantry (Avenger) Battalion honors the sacrifice and heroism of late SSg Benedict A Diño (Inf) PA.
Soldiers from the 14th Infantry (Avenger) Battalion, 8th Infantry Division, recovered one M16 rifle, three backpacks, ten tents and some personal belongings, found during clearing operations. Bloodstains were reportedly found in the encounter site, and that the enemy suffered heavy casualties.
The 802nd Infantry Brigade Commander, Brigadier General Zosimo Oliveros, said: “In the name of EO-70 which aims to attain lasting peace and inclusive development in the country through the whole-of-government, whole-of-nation approach, we always encourage and welcome the support of local officials and the citizens in ending the local communist armed conflict.” Oliveros also added, “In the recent incident in Bontoc, we console both the families of our slain soldier and communist terrorists as we also felt the loss of their loved ones.”
Local residents related to the 14th Infantry (Avenger) Battalion, 8th Infantry Division, PA that one of the dead NPA’s son was among the communist terrorists that clashed with the soldiers and is possibly wounded, but escaped. And, the wife identified one of the two bodies to be that of her husband and presented a copy of their Marriage Contract when she claimed the same from a local funeral parlor through the police.
The local government units of Bontoc and Tomas Oppus in Southern Leyte and of Hilongos in Leyte through their respective Municipal Task Forces to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (MTFs-ELCAC) as well as the 14IB and 802nd Infantry (Peerless) Brigade, 8ID, PA provided cash and material assistance to the dead NPA family for the wake and burial, according to the report.
The military is still trying to establish the exact identity of the second alleged NPA member who also died on the spot, whose body was not yet claimed from Dodong’s Funeral Homes in Sogod, Southern Leyte. (Zhea Cabodbod)

Photo credits to: (Featured Image: First Southern Leyte Provincial Mobile Force Company), 14th Infantry “Avenger” Battalion, Philippine Army.

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