Soldiers clashed with RHB in Zambales

By Jason de Asis


CAMP AQUINO, Tarlac City, January 6, 2011-Army troopers clashed with the underground Marxist-Leninist Party of the Philippines (MLLP) military arm Rebolusyunaryong Hukbong Bayan identified them as RHB last Monday at Purok 7, Brgy. Sto. Rosario,  Masinloc, Zambales around 5:20 in the afternoon.


Northern Luzon Command (NOLCOM) spokesman Major Rosendo Armas said that the lawless elements of MLPP/RHB are the rejectionist groups of the CPP/NPA (Communist Party of the Philippines/New People‚Äôs Army) reaffirmed groups, rivaling in  extortion and other criminal activities in Pampanga and other parts of Central Luzon. 


Armas said that concerned villagers reported to the 24th Infantry Battalion the presence of the government enemies with firearms conducting house-to-house solicitation and harassment in the said place where one section of Alpha Company responded led by Army First Lieutenant McLloyd  M. Latris encountered  the group and immediately opened fire.


At this juncture, the MLLP-RHB scampered for their safety while the government troops conducted hot pursuit operation as of this report, adding that road blocks and additional checkpoint are now in place.


Armas said that during the effectivity of the 19-day ceasefire or suspension of offensive military operations (SOMO) from December 16, 2010 to January 3, 2011 the government forces have been on defensive mode. However, the SOMO covered only the NPA as a gesture of good faith or confidence-building measure in preparation for the forthcoming peace talks in Norway.  Abu Sayyaf and other terror groups were not included.


In a follow-up operation by the government troops 1lt Latris was reported wounded in action while there are undetermined numbers of casualties on the enemy side.


Recovered from the encountered site were 1 cal .38 Smith & Weston, 4 live ammunitions, 2 cellular phones, 1 SIM pack, bandoleers, 5 backpacks with personal belongings, 3 M16 magazines with 60 rounds of ammunitions, 1 transistor radio, assorted medicines, carrying handle of M60 GPMG, kitchen utensils and subversive documents with high intelligence value. (Jason de Asis)