A LEADER of the New People’s Army and one of his men were killed while another was wounded in a firefight with government troops in President Roxas town in North Cotabato on Monday morning.
Lt. Col. Dingdong Atilano, spokesman of the Army’s 6th Infantry Division based in Maguindanao, identified the fatalities as Buenaventura Dawal, alias Atan; and one alias Alambo.
Atilano said Dawal is a member of the Executive Committee of the CPP-NPA’s Southern Mindanao Regional Party Committee.
An unidentified individual, also believed to be an NPA rebel, was wounded in the fighting.
The man, who was armed with a rifle, is currently confined at the Antipas District Hospital.
Another suspect, identified as Patrick Nadong, alias Chris, a former NPA political officer, eluded arrest.
Atilano said troops from the Army’s 90th and 72nd Infantry Battalions and local policemen swooped down at the hideout of the NPA rebels at around 6 a.m. in Sitio Marinangao in Barangay Sarayan to serve a warrant for murder.
Citing reports from the field, Atilano said the rebels opened fire at the troops, leading to an exchange of gun fire and the eventual death of Dawal and Alambo and the wounding of their companion.
Recovered at the encounter scene were an M16 Rifle, an M1 Carbine Rifle, a cal. 45 pistol, two improvised explosive devices, rebel documents and personal belongings of the suspects.