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Alleged NPA leader, 2 others killed in arrest raid

MANILA, Philippines – An alleged top communist rebel leader and his two companions were killed in a shootout with the police and military who were trying to arrest him early on Friday, March 13, in Baguio City.

The unit had a warrant to arrest Julius Soriano Giron, allegedly the leader of the Communist Party of the Philippines' (CPP) National Military Commission, and to search his hideout in Barangay Queen of Peace, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) said in a media release.

Giron, said to be the overall chairman of the New People's Army (NPA), was wanted for rebellion, arson, and frustrated murder, the AFP said.

Giron was with Lourdes Tan Torres, allegedly a member of the CPP Executive Committee, and an unidentified male believed to be Giron's security aide, at the time of the arrest. The military said the 3 resisted arrest, "resulting in a firefight" that led to their deaths.

The government is on a revved up campaign to end the communist insurgency that began in 1969. Besides an effort to entice rebels to lay down arms and return to civilian life through cash incentives and promises of livelihood assistance, the police and military continue to run offensives on insurgent lairs and even raids on organizations they suspect to be legal fronts of the CPP-NPA.

"The death of Giron will further rattle the communist terror group and its dwindling force for losing its strategic leader," said AFP chief of staff General Felimon Santos Jr.

"The rebels' efforts to gain political power, through their armed struggle, only resulted in violence. This will never be the solution for our society," said Philippine Army chief Lieutenant General Gilbert Gapay. – Rappler.com

JC Gotinga

JC Gotinga often reports about the West Philippine Sea, the communist insurgency, and terrorism as he covers national defense and security for Rappler. He enjoys telling stories about his hometown, Pasig City. JC has worked with Al Jazeera, CNN Philippines, News5, and CBN Asia.

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