Another rebel killed in fresh clash with government troops in Negros
Another fighter of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) was killed during a clash with troops of the Philippine Army’s 94th Infantry Battalion (IB) in Barangay Caradio-an, Himamaylan City, Negros Occidental this morning, April 14.
At 5:20 a.m, soldiers engaged about 10 communist rebels in Sitio Pandan after their presence was reported by the locals as they came asking for food to the point of harassing the residents, the 94IB report said.
The fatality was initially identified only as alias Johnny, leader of Squad 1, Sentro de Grabidad (SDG) Platoon of the NPA’s Central Negros Front 2.
Lt. Col. Van Donald Almonte, commander of 94IB, commended the bravery of the residents in providing timely and accurate information to the government troops.
“Their cooperation is vital to end the decades-long insurgency in Himamaylan City,” he said in a statement.
After a five-minute firefight, troops found the body of the NPA fighter and recovered two magazines of caliber .45 pistol, a hand grenade, a Huawei computer tablet, a mobile phone, medical kits, and backpacks containing personal items.
“The CPP-NPA in central Negros is continuously weakening with the continuous setbacks they suffered from encounters and surrender of their members,” Almonte said.
He added that the remaining cadres are also competing for the position left by Elbert Quillano (alias Carding), leader of the SDG Platoon, and deputy secretary of Central Negros Front 2, who died in a clash with soldiers in the neighboring Barangay Buenavista last April 1.
“The area is divided. They are now betraying each other for their greed to occupy the position of alias Carding. We call on them to surrender before they will be placed in an unfortunate situation caused by the greediness of their comrades,” the 94IB commander said.
In a separate statement, Brig. Gen. Inocencio Pasaporte, commander of 303rd Infantry Brigade based in Murcia in Negros Occidental, lauded the 94IB troops for the successful operation and thanked the people of Sitio Pandan for reporting the presence of the rebels.
“I commend the 94IB troopers for their vigilance and timely action. We will not give the CPP-NPA breathing space as they continuously refuse to heed our call to return to the fold of the law,” he added.
During the Buenavista encounter, Quillano was killed with his wife Jessa, who was the platoon’s medical officer.
On April 3, they were laid to rest at the Himamaylan City Public Cemetery in rites arranged by the city’s Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict together with troops of 94IB.
The CPP-NPA is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines.
The National Democratic Front (NDF) has been formally designated as a terrorist organization by the Anti-Terrorism Council on June 23, 2021, citing it as “an integral and inseparable part” of the CPP-NPA created in April 1973.* (Nanette Guadalquiver)