A SQUAD leader of the communist New People’s Army was killed in a firefight with government forces in Cabanglasan town in Bukidnon on Saturday, the military reported on Sunday.
The slain rebel leader, identified through his alias as Daligas, was described as an extortionist belonging to the Guerrilla Front Malayag, an NPA unit blamed for the burning of two heavy equipment in Valencia City last June 19.
Maj. Rodulfo Cordero, spokesman of the 4th Infantry Division in Cagayan de Oro City, said troops from the Army’s 88th Infantry Battalion were conducting security patrol when they clashed with about 15 rebels in Barangay Mandahikan at around 9:50 a.m. The rebels withdrew after a 10-minute firefight, leaving behind the remains of Daligas, an M16 rifle, and a bandoleer with four magazines.
Soldiers also found nearby an NPA lair which can accommodate about 15 persons. They recovered from the eight cell phones, medical supplies, and personal belongings.
Cordero said soldiers conducted the security patrol after residents reported the presence of insurgents.
Brig. Gen. Andres Centino, 4th ID commander, said the encountered NPA group is behind extortion activities victimizing business establishments. Heavy equipment of these firms are burned by the rebels if they fail to head extortion demands of the rebels.
“Extortion is their lifeblood, if these activities are stopped, they will never be able sustain their forces, they will be forced to surrender that will eventually lead to their defeat,” said Centino.
A policeman was abducted by suspected NPA rebels in Sison town in Surigao del Sur on Friday.
A report from the Caraga regional police office said S/Sgt Restie Rojas Dandan, assigned with the Sison police station, was aboard his motorcycle and on the way to work at the police station when he was intercepted by the rebels at around 8:30 a.m. last Friday in Sitio Mijares, Purok 1, Barangay San Isidro.
Six rebels, armed with rifles and wearing camouflage pants, seized Dandan while an undetermined number of other rebels hid at a grassy portion of the road to serve as blocking force.
Police said Dandan’s house is about three km from the police station and he was abducted about a kilometer from the station.
The rebels left behind his motorcycle. Police found traces of blood in the area, indicating the policeman was hurt.
Policeman have launched pursuit operations.