communist insurgency

6 NPAs killed, 16 weapons seized in AFP hunt for Eastern Samar village attackers

Jazmin Bonifacio
6 NPAs killed, 16 weapons seized in AFP hunt for Eastern Samar village attackers

CLEARING OPERATIONS. Soldiers from the AFP's Joint Task Force Storm in Samar prepare to carry seized rebel belongings after a November 23 clash in Las Navas, Northern Samar.

8th Infantry Division Public Information Office

AFP Joint Task Force Storm spokesperson Captain Ryan Layug claims the slain rebels were part of a unit that attacked a village in Jipapad, Eastern Samar in October

CATBALOGAN CITY, Philippines – The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Joint Task Force Storm (JTS) on Wednesday, November 23, said troops killed six alleged New People’s Army rebels in the uplands of Barangay Imelda, Las Navas, in Northern Samar.

JTS spokesperson Captain Ryan Layug said they also seized 16 assorted  firearms, ammunition, and other rebel paraphernalia after the Wednesday morning firefight.

JTF Storm and 8th Infantry Division Commander Major General Camilo Ligayo said technology helped them track the enemy movement, although he did not elaborate.

He said locals tipped off troops on the rebel hideout.

The rebels’ heavily fortified position and resistance, Ligayo said, triggered a request for close air support and artillery fire. The military did not report any dead or wounded among the soldiers.

JTS, which answers to the AFP’s Central Command, combines infantry, air, and naval units.

Raid on Eastern Samar village

Layug said some members of the Eastern Visayas Regional Party Committee (EVRPC) were among the guerrillas in the November 23 clash, but he did not elaborate on the claim.

ALLEGED REBELS. Troops stand watch over the covered bodies of six alleged rebels killed during a clash in Barangay Imelda, Las Navas, Northern Samar on November 23. 8th Infantry Division Public Affairs Office

The JTS said the rebel band was responsible for the October 7 raid on Barangay Dorillo, in Jipapad town, Eastern Samar, Layug added. 

Rebels killed two soldiers and wounded two others, plus a ten-year old child in that attack.

The Jipapad attack on a village that had declared the communist rebels persona non grata in March 2020 occurred during a town fiesta that left few people in the community.

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The rebel raid came more than a month after the reports circulated that top communist rebels Benito and Wilma Tiamzon were among the eight rebels killed in a August 22 “sea blast” that capped an eight-month chase across the three provinces of Samar island.

Benito’s sister, Nenita Tiamzon Santiago, wrote to the Commission on Human Rights central office on August 31, seeking help in verifying if the couple were among the slain.

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The military claimed the Barangay Dorillo raid as an act of desperation. The attack left hundreds of casings of bullets that pierced at least 15 houses, the barangay stage, a communal toilet, and the newly constructed barangay hall.

The JTS sought a dialogue with villagers after the raid.

Then-8ID chief Brigadier General Zosimo Oliveros told Rappler the military had “many questions for barangay folk on why this attack happened,” and appealed “for the residents of Jipapad to tell the truth about what happened there.”

SEIZED. The military seized rebel belongings, including these electronic equipment and food, aside from 16 assorted firearms and ammunition following a clash with New People’s Army guerrillas in the uplands of Las Navas, Northern Samar. (8ID public information office)

According to records of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC), there are five remaining active CPP-NPA guerilla fronts in the country. Four of these are in Region 8, particularly in Northern Samar and along the tri-border with Samar and Eastern Samar. –

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