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Additional troops sent to Mindoro

By AARON RECUENCO

Police and military forces have deployed additional forces in Mindoro provinces following an intense gun battle between Army troopers and communist rebels in Sta. Cruz town of Occidental Mindoro.

Chief Supt. Emmanuel Luis Licup, director of the MIMAROPA (Mindoro Occidental and Oriental, Marinduque, Romblon and Palawan) regional police, said he also directed the two provincial directors of Mindoro provinces to conduct checkpoints and chokepoints to contain the movement of the fleeing rebels.

“I also directed them to conduct monitoring of all hospitals and clinics in their respective areas of jurisdiction to check on the possible presence of wounded communist rebels,” said Licup.

The official’s order came following the gun battle between elements of the 76th Infantry Battalion and some 40 communist rebels in Sitio Kamambugan, Barangay Pinagturilan in Sta. Cruz town at around 1:30 p.m. on Friday.

The firefight lasted for 15 minutes, with the rebels seen running away from the clash site.

Seized during the clearing operations were upper receiver of M16 rifle, a 9mm pistol, a .38 revolver and an improvised explosive device.

Licup said the intense gunfight has led them to believe that there were casualties on the communist rebel side. There were no casualties on the government side.

“We want to block the supply of logistics and ammunition to the enemies, the reason why checkpoints and similar operations are important,” said Licup.

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