Government troops seized three New People’s Army (NPA) camps on Samar Island following clashes with the rebel group, a military spokesman said.

Two NPA camps were found in Matuguinao, Samar, and the third in Lope De Vega, Northern Samar, Capt. Gene Orense, spokesman of the Army’s 8th Infantry Division, said.

The first camp was seized after members of the 63rd Infantry Battalion figured in a 30-minute firefight with rebels in Brgy. Inubod, Matuguinao, on Friday.

Two abandoned camps were found in the hinterlands of Brgy. Del Rosario, also in Matuguinao, and in Lope De Vega on Monday.

All camps have bunkers that can accommodate up to 30 people, while the one in Inubod even had advance posts, a kitchen, a hall, and a toilet, Orense said.

Around 5 p.m. Monday, the 63rd IB clashed again with rebels in Brgy. Rizal, Matuguinao. A soldier, identified as Pfc. Elwin Bert Paller, was hurt in the fighting.

Orense said the rebels are abandoning camps not only because of military operations, but also because they are losing support from local communities that used to host them.

“‘Yang mga lugar na ‘yan, dati malakas sila (rebels) diyan, ngayon inaabandona nila ‘yung mga kampo nila, ibig sabihin nawawalan na sila ng suporta dun sa mga barangay,” he said. (John Roson)

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