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5 NPA rebels slain in Batangas, Quezon clashes

CAMP VICENTE LIM, Laguna, Philippines — Two ranking members of the New People’s Army (NPA) and three other communist rebels have been killed in encounters with government troopers in Rosario, Batangas and Guinayangan, Quezon.

Three of the fatalities were identified as Junalice Arante-Isita, alias Arya, secretary of the NPA’s sub-regional military area 4C; Bernardo Bagaas, logistics officer of the SRMA-4C, and Erickson Bedonia.

Isita was also reportedly a political instructor of an NPA unit.

She had a pending arrest warrant issued by the Batangas City Regional Trial Court Branch 7 for violation of the Anti-Terrorism Act.

Isita‘s husband, Isagani, also an NPA official, died in an encounter with authorities serving an arrest warrant at his hideout in Sariaya, Quezon last year.

Soldiers were conducting a military operation when they encountered the rebels in Barangay Leviste in Rosario, Batangas on Tuesday.

A soldier was wounded in the encounter.

The military said an M16 rifle, a baby Armalite, an M4 Bushmaster rifle, six jungle packs and a length of wire for improvised explosive devices were recovered from the fatalities.

Two other NPA rebels who have yet to be identified were killed in a gunfight with soldiers in Barangay San Jose in Guinayangan, Quezon, on Thursday.

Three high-powered firearms were reportedly recovered from the slain rebels.