Suspected NPA member killed in clash with soldiers

April 19, 2022 by No Comments

A 20-MINUTE gunfight between government forces and suspected members of the New People’s Army (NPA) in Cauayan town, Negros Occidental Tuesday, April 19, left one rebel dead.Brigadier General Leonardo Pena, commander of the 302nd Infantry Brigade (IB), said members of the 15th Infantry Battalion trooped to Sitio Bajay in Barangay Caliling past 6 a.m. on information that several armed men were sighted there.Upon reaching the place, the soldiers encountered at least 15 armed men, Pena said, adding that the rebels could be members of the NPA’s southern front led by “Ka Kumpol.”After the gunfight, the rebels scampered to different directions and left their dead comrade, he said.As of Tuesday afternoon, the Army and Philippine National Police are yet to identify the casualty, Pena told SunStar Bacolod.An M-16 rifle was recovered from the encounter site, the military reported.Meanwhile, the intensive Focused Military Operations (FMOs) of the Army’s 3rd Infantry Division (ID), partnered with the strategic Civil Military Operations, and the overwhelming support of the member-agencies of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-Elcac) resulted in the neutralization of 34 members of the NPA in the first quarter of 2022.Since January 13 this year, encounters have been recorded, leaving eight rebels dead and led to the arrest of three others, military records further showed.Six of the neutralized personalities are suspected top leaders of the NPA terrorist organization.Among those killed were two still unidentified NPA members in a separate encounter in Sitio San Juan in Barangay Caradio-an, Himamaylan City, Negros Occidental and Sitio Tulong in Barangay Enrique Villanueva in Sibulan, Negros Oriental on April 14, 2022.The deaths of rebel leader Elbert Nicolas Quillano alias “Carding,” a finance officer of Sentro De Grabidad platoon, and Jessa Luiso Quillano, alias “Clean/Js,” a medical officer of the same NPA unit, also caused a vacuum in the organization, the military said.The couple were killed in an encounter in Sitio Kulihaw, Barangay Buenavista, Himamaylan City on April 1.Another killed top leader of the group was Virgilio Marco Tamban alias “Bedam,” commanding officer of Platoon Lenovo who died in an encounter in Barangay Amin, Isabela town in Negros Occidental on March 9.Other rebels arrested were Ramon Patriarca alias “Usting/Baste/Chino,” secretary of Komiteng Rehiyon-Negros (KRN) who is wanted for 10 counts of murder, and Carmen Jonahville Matarlo alias “Loisa /Avon,” the secretary of the same NPA unit.They were arrested in Barangay Suay in Himamaylan City on March 18.Also included in the list of neutralized rebels were Reymart Hilacio Castillo “alias Ryan,” finance officer of (KRN) who surrendered to the Troops of the 94th Infantry Battalion on February 12, and Arnold Suerte, also the rebel group’s finance officer who was killed in an encounter in Sitio Manlibod, Barangay Trinidad in Guihulngan City, Negros Oriental on January 15.Major General Benedict Arevalo, commander of 3ID, attributed this victory to the support and cooperation of the local populace in Western and Central Visayas.Arevalo, in a statement, also commended the unceasing effort of various government agencies and local government units in ending local communist armed conflict.He commended the dedication and courage of the troops in winning the fight against the CPP-NPA terrorists and in pursuing the fervent time desire of the people for genuine peace and development guided by their campaign mantra “Loved by the people, feared by the enemy.”Arevalo reiterated his persistent reminder to the remaining NPAs that they only have two options — to surrender, get arrested or get killed in an encounter.”You better choose the best option, which is to surrender and avail of the government’s reintegration program and live a normal life with your family,” he added. (With reports from TDE)