Army, NPA clash in Pagadian; 1 dead

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In a report, the 1st Infantry (Tabak) Division said the clash took place in Barangay Lisson Valley past 12 p.m.

The military said the slain rebel was identified only by his surname, Becsala.

Soldiers found Becsala’s body with a hand grenade, a communist flag and documents after the clash, the military said.

Soldiers belonging to the 531st Battalion, under the 103rd Brigade, clashed with at least 15 members of the New People’s Army (NPA) led by a certain Marlon in Pagadian City.

According to the military report, Becsala, alias “Ka Diego,” was killed during the clash, which lasted for about 15 minutes.

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The rebels withdrew to different directions, leaving behind Becsala’s body.

In another report, the military claimed that two members of the NPA’s Mobile Regional Guerrilla Unit, of the Western Mindanao Regional Party Committee, surrendered to soldiers in Zamboanga del Sur.

Brig. Gen. Rolando Bautista, Tabak Division commander, said the military welcomed NPA rebels who “want to return to the folds of the law and live a normal life.”

He said for rebels who continued to fight, “there will be no letup in focused military operations.”

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