A LEADER of the New People’s Army and two of his men were died after they fought it out with government forces who raided their safehouse in Antipolo City yesterday.
The slain rebel leader, Armando Lazarte alias Pat Romano, is secretary of the NPA’s “Sub-Regional Military Area 4A (SRMA)” which operates in the provinces of Rizal and Quezon, said the Army’s 2nd Infantry Division based in Rizal. He is also a member of the Southern Tagalog Regional Party Committee.
One of the two other fatalities was identified only as alias “Bisaya,” a commander of one of the guerilla units of the SRMA 4A. The other rebel remained unidentified.
Troops from the Army’s 80th Infantry Battalion and Rizal PNP swooped down on the house in Sierra Vista subdivision in Barangay Cupang at around 2 a.m. to serve Lazarte arrest warrants for murder and frustrated murder.
Lazarte and his two men opened fire at the raiding team, triggering the firefight.
Recovered at the scene were an M16 rifle, a 9 mm pistol, a cal .45 pistol, two hand grenades, laptops, cellphones and voluminous documents.
The 80th IB said Lazarte led the burning of equipment at the Kaliwa Dam project in Infanta, Quezon early this year and the series of ambuscades, using land mines, on the police in Baras and Antipolo City in 2018.
Brig. Gen. Arnulfo Marcelo Burgos, 2nd ID commander, said Lazarte’s death will cause further demoralization in the NPA in Southern Tagalog.
On Monday last week, NPA leader Jaime Padilla, alias Ka Diego, was nabbed by policemen and soldiers at Cardinal Santos Memorial Medical Center in San Juan City, where he is seeking treatment for heart problem.
Padilla is the deputy secretary of SRMA 4A, spokesman of the NPA’s Southern Tagalog Regional Party Committee, and member of the Communist Party of the Philippines Central Committee.