The Philippine Army said the troops were deployed to the area after civilians complained of the NPA’s extortion activities.

A bemedalled Marawi siege Army veteran was killed and two other soldiers were wounded when military personnel engaged in a gun fight suspected members of the New People’s Army (NPA) rebels in barangay of Villa Rey, Echague town, Isabela province Saturday afternoon.

Maj. Noriel Tayaban, Army’s 5th Infantry Division spokesperson identified the lone casualty as Cpl. Adonis Galera of Pinukpuk, Kalinga.

Galera was a Marawi siege veteran and a Gold Cross awardee under the Army’s Scout Ranger.

Injured were Cpl. Harold Ganagan of Tinglayan, Kalinga and Cpl. Fajardo Manuel of Paracelis, Mountain Province.

The three members were members of the 86th Infantry Battalion which was deployed to the area upon receiving information from villagers that alleged communist rebels were extorting money from the civilians for the NPA’s upcoming anniversary.

Responding to the call, the troops were met with bullets by the rebels which resulted in a 20-minute exchange.

The two injured soldiers are now undergoing medical treatment at a private hospital in Santiago City. (Jojo Mangahis)