NPA leader slain in Compostela Valley clash

July 15, 2010 10:01 am 

ZAMBOANGA CITY, July 15 — A New People’s Army (NPA) rebel leader was killed in a clash with government forces in the hinterlands of Compostela Valley Province on Wednesday, military officials said Thursday.

The other NPAs who figured in the firefight were also believed to have been wounded in the same clash, the officials said.

Col. Roberto Ancan, commander of the Army’s 66th Infantry Battalion, said the clash took place around 4 p.m. Wednesday in Barangay Tandawan, New Bataan town, Compostela Valley Province.

Ancan said the troops from the Army’s 66th Infantry Battalion were conducting security patrol following persistent information from residents about NPAs extorting money from households when they chanced upon about 20 communist rebels.

He said the NPAs from the Local Terrorist Front-27 fled leaving behind a dead comrade following a 30-minute firefight.

He said the troops have recovered from the possession of the unidentified slain NPA an M653 assault rifle or a baby armalite.

“Reports of NPAs extorting money from residents have been persisting for about a couple of days and we received specific information from residents on their exact location,” he said.

“The dead NPA might be one of their leaders as M653 Assault Rifles are not commonly handled by ordinary combatants. The cadaver was brought to New Bataan proper to be identified by relatives so that he may be given appropriate burial,” he added.

Maj. Gen. Carlos Holganza, commander of the Army’s 10th Infantry Division, said security operations will be continuously conducted by the soldiers for the people to have a secured community without the threat, intimidation and coercion by the NPAs under the absolute order of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP).

“Similar operations are also being conducted region-wide to ensure the uninterrupted delivery of government services to the people and the implementation of much needed peace and development projects,” Holganza added.

Last Saturday, soldiers conducted a “Battle of the Bands” and concert for peace in downtown Davao City highlighting peace and development projects of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) in the different parts of southern Mindanao in the form of music.

Security schemes being conducted to protect the people from terrorists and saboteurs were also given highlight in the four-hour concert. (PNA)

FFC/TPG/mec

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