Military downplays Negros clashes

Posted on July 21, 2014

BACOLOD CITY -- A brief fire fight occurred between government soldiers and communist rebels in Jimalalud town in Negros Oriental on Saturday, July 19 -- the third encounter on Negros Island within a week.

Two days earlier, two soldiers were killed and a third was wounded when rebels ambushed them in Brgy. Buenavista in Himamaylan City, Negros Occidental. On Monday, a suspected rebel was killed in Binalbagan, also in Negros Occidental.

Despite these encounters, military officials were confident that they were gaining ground against the New People’s Army and closer to achieving peace.

Major Ray C. Tiongson, spokesman of the 3rd Infantry Division of the Philippine Army, said they have identified rebel lairs and are intensifying efforts to capture them with the help of the local governments.

“With their help and that of the people of Negros Island, we are optimistic that we will be able to resolve the insurgency problems here and push for the development of Negros Occidental and Oriental provinces,” Mr. Tiongson said in a text message to BusinessWorld over the weekend. -- Adrian P. Nemes III