GOVERNMENT forces killed a leader of the New People’s Army in a firefight in Laak town in Compostella Valley on Wednesday, the military reported yesterday.
The Army’s 60th Infantry Battalion said the fatality, Marjun Taba alias Hiker, and his group are behind atrocities in Compostela Valley and in the nearby provinces of Agusan del Sur and Davao del Norte.
Taba is 1st deputy secretary and plenary member of the NPA’s Sub-Regional Committee 4 of the Southern Mindanao Regional Party Committee, said 1Lt. Amadeuz Celestial, civil military operations officer of the 60th IB.
Celestial said Taba has arrest warrants for murder, frustrated murder, rebellion, serious illegal detention, double murder, and double frustrated murder.
Celestial said forces from the 60th and 25th Infantry Battalions and local police encountered Taba’s group at around 5:30 a.m. in Barangay Kapatagan during a law enforcement operation to arrest the NPA leader.
He said the troops engaged rebel group in a five-minute firefight, leading to Taba’s death.
Celestial said Taba’s four companions managed to escape “although blood stains were discovered in their escape route.”
Recovered at the scene of the firefight were Taba’s cal .45 pistol and two improvised explosive devices.
Lamosao said the military and local government officials have reached out to Taba to surrender but the latter declined.
Col. John Oberio, commander of the Army’s 1001st Brigade, said government forces have stepped up operations to bring the NPA, the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines, to its knees.