Philippine troops clashed with communist rebels in an eastern town, leaving 10 guerrillas and two soldiers dead, military officials said Friday, in violence that comes just days before the resumption of peace talks aimed at ending one of Asia’s longest-running rebellions.
Maj. Gen. Rhoderick Parayno, an army division commander, said the military did not recover the rebels’ bodies but witnesses counted 10 killed among 30 guerrillas encountered by troops Thursday in General Nakar town east of the capital Manila. Two soldiers also died and two more were wounded.
In Manila, nearly 100 members and supporters of the underground Communist Party of the Philippines, most wearing red shirts with red kerchiefs over their faces, marched Friday near the presidential palace in a show of force before Sunday’s resumption of peace talks with the government.
The marchers carried red banners, including one with the party’s hammer and sickle logo during the “lightning rally” as a handful of policemen watched. They urged the people to join the revolution and they chanted “Long Live the New People’s Army,” the party’s military arm.