A clash erupted between government troops and a still unidentified armed group in a hinterland barangay in the town of Batuan on Thursday morning.
This was confirmed by Bohol Provincial Police Office (BPPO) director Col. Jonathan Cabal.
According to Cabal, the gunfight which started at past 11 a.m. was between soldiers from the Philippine Army’s 47th Infantry Battalion and armed men believed to be New People’s Army (NPA) rebels.
“Merong encounter between our forces, the 47th IB at mga alleged NPA,” said Cabal.
There have been no reported casualties on both sides while a hot pursuit operation was launched against the armed men.
Cabal noted however that they were still confirming whether or not the men were NPA insurgents.
“Armed men pero di pa sigurado kung NPA,” he said.
The police have also yet to determine the exact number of armed men who engaged the Army soldiers in a gunfight.
The BPPO led by Cabal deployed the elite Special Action Force and other heavily armed units of the police in Batuan.
Meanwhile, police stations near Batuan have been directed to establish checkpoints in a bid to flush out the alleged rebels.
Bohol has been considered insurgency-free for almost a decade.
There have been numerous reported sightings of unidentified armed men across Bohol in recent years but authorities have maintained that these were at insignificant levels. (A. Doydora)