A NEW People’s Army leader in Laguna, who has a P3.8-million bounty on his head, and two of his men were killed in a firefight with policemen in Kalayaan town in Laguna on Tuesday.
The slain rebel leader was identified as Dioscorro Cello, alias Ka Termo, secretary general of the Cesar Batrallo Command. The government has offered P3.8 million for information that would lead to his arrest or death.
Also killed were Cello’s two men, who were identified only through their aliases, aliases Ka Omar and Efren for one, aliases Ka Danny, Mar and Rey for the second.
Operatives of the PNP Regional Mobile Force Battalion 4-A were looking for a sheltering area when they were engaged by 40 rebels in Sitio Balat Kahoy in Barangay Antonio at around 1 a.m.
PNP spokesman Brig. Gen. Bernard Banac said the policemen were “scouting for a sheltering area” while on the anti-crime operation “Oplan Dirty Dozen” when they were attacked by the rebels.
No one was reported killed or injured on the side of the policemen during the one-hour firefight.
During clearing operations, the lawmen recovered the remains of Cello and his two men, four assault rifles, a grenade launcher, improvised explosive devices, triggering devices, radio transceivers, and hundreds of rounds of assorted ammunition.
“He is the subject of an arrest order with a P3.8-million reward for information leading to his capture,” Banac said of Cello.
PNP chief Gen. Archie Gamboa lashed at the rebels for attacking the policemen during the pandemic.
“The Philippine National Police condemns in the strongest terms the latest act of hostility of the New People’s Army in Laguna amid the health crisis we are facing right now”, Gamboa said.
Banac said the PNP leadership reminded all units to be “more vigilant, enhance personnel security and conduct preventive and proactive operations in coordination with AFP units” to prevent similar attacks.