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2 suspected NPA fighters slain in Bulacan clash

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By Joel Guinto
First Posted 15:34:00 04/24/2008

MANILA, Philippines — Two suspected communist rebels were killed in an encounter with elite Army troops in Bulacan province on Wednesday, a military official said.

The bodies of the two dead rebels were recovered from the scene of the encounter between a platoon from the 18th Special Forces Company and around seven New People’s Army (NPA) guerrillas in a coastal hamlet of Taliptip village, Meycauayan town at around 4 p.m., said Brigadier General Arturo Ortiz, chief of the Special Forces Regiment.

The dead were identified as Marlon Verano, a logistics officer, and a certain Palo, Ortiz said in a text message to reporters on Thursday. A submachine gun and a .38-caliber pistol were also recovered.

The government troops suffered no casualties.

At the end of the first quarter of 2008, the military estimated the strength of the NPA at 5,470, down from 5,761 in the previous quarter, Armed Forces chief General Hermogenes Esperon Jr. said in his quarterly internal security briefing on Wednesday.

Incidentally, Esperon said Bulacan was among provinces where troops have dismantled guerilla fronts.

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has given security forces until 2010 to deal a “strategic defeat” to the NPA, the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), which has been waging a guerilla campaign from the countryside for close to 40 years.

Marj Garces, Contributor

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Written by joelguinto

Thu+00:002008-04-24T08:05:18+00:00+00:0004b+00:00Thu, 24 Apr 2008 08:05:18 +0000 22, 2006 at 12:45 am04

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