LEGAZPI CITY – Three communist insurgents died as police and military troops clashed with New People’s Army (NPA) rebels in the boundary of Albay and Sorsogon provinces on Monday, the Philippine Army (PA) reported.

Maj. John Paul Belleza, 9th Infantry Division (9ID) spokesperson, said in a report sent to reporters on Monday evening that the joint team of security forces encountered seven armed rebels.

After some 10 minutes of firefight, the rebels fled in different directions, leaving three of their slain comrades.

Government soldiers recovered the three bodies, including that of their group leader “Bong”.

No casualty was reported on the side of the troops.

Authorities also recovered from the site two M16 assault rifles, one .45-caliber pistol, several propaganda materials, and personal belongings of the rebels.

Belleza said the gun battle ensued when the troops responded to the “information given to the troops by concerned residents regarding the presence of armed men at the boundary of Barangay Buenavista in Pioduran, Albay, and in Barangay Sta. Cruz, Donsol in Sorsogon.”

The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP)-NPA is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines.

The National Democratic Front has been formally designated as a terrorist organization by the Anti-Terrorism Council on June 23, 2021, citing it as “an integral and inseparable part” of the CPP-NPA created in April 1973. (PNA By Connie Calipay  /)