New members of the People's Army are seen wielding high-powered firearms in this photo taken in Marihatag, Surigao del Sur on December 26, 2018. FILE / ERWIN MASCARIÑAS

MANILA, Philippines – Two suspected members of the New People's Army (NPA) were killed in separate clashes in Misamis Oriental and Surigao del Sur, the Philippine Army said on Tuesday.

On February 11, the 58th Infantry Battalion participated in a 10-minute gunfight with about nine NPA members in Sitio Kayagan, Barangay Quezon Heights, in Balingasag City, Misamis Oriental.

This led to the death of one Miguel Sereño, deputy leader of a squadron of the North Central Mindanao Regional Committee.

In Surigao del Sur, troops of the 3rd Special Forces Battalion were also involved in a shootout with the Northeast Mindanao Regional Committee (NEMRC) in Barangay Baucawe, Lianga City.

This resulted in the death of an alleged NPA doctor under the NEMRC.

“After our troops thoroughly searched and cleaned the area due to heavy bloodstains at the encounter site, we discovered an abandoned woman… corpse initially identified as 'Sunshine', ROC medic, NEMRC,” said Lt. Col. Paulo Baylon , 3rd Special. Commander of the Armed Forces Battalion, in a statement.

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) previously said that a total of 13 suspected NPA members were killed from January 1 to February 8.

As of December 2023, the NPA is down to around 1,500 fighters, far from the peak of around 25,000 in 1987, according to the AFP.

READ: Padilla: AFP promises to eliminate NPA by the end of 2024

The political wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines, National Democratic Front of the Philippines, is now exploring the possibility of resuming peace talks with the government.

Established on March 29, 1969, the NPA has fought the world's longest-running Maoist insurgency.

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