Top NPA leader, 4 others slain in military raid in Sarangani

Edwin G. Espejo

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Top NPA leader, 4 others slain in military raid in Sarangani
The slain rebels are from the Far South Mindanao Regional command of the communist guerrilla force, among the more active units in Mindanao, says the AFP

SARANGANI, Philippines – A high ranking leader of the New People’s Army (NPA) was killed along with 4 others in a fierce encounter in Alabel, Sarangani, Monday morning, February 16, according to the military here.

Slain was one alias Ka Lucas, said to be the secretary of Front 75 of the Far South Mindanao Regional command of the NPA.

“We have recovered 5 bodies, including that of Ka Lucas,” said Colonel Ronald Villanueva, commanding officer of the Army’s 1002nd Brigade.

“We have been tracking them for the last few days,” he added.

He said his troops finally caught up with the rebels in Datal Angas, triggering a running gunbattle.

Villanueva said followup operations continued even as they recovered at least 6 high-powered firearms from the rebels.

Nakakuha kami ng 2 AK-27, tatlong M16 at isang M-203,” the Army official said. (We recovered 2 AK-47, 3 M-16, and one M-203)

There was no immediate statement from the NPA rebels, who usually acknowledge their casualties.

The Far South Mindanao Command of the NPAs is among the more active units of the communist-led rebel forces in Mindanao. 

It has, however, suffered successive setbacks in 2014, including a former president of the University of the Philippines Mindanao Student Council who was slain along with 3 others in an encounter in Maasim, also in Sarangani, in November. 

The latest encounter in Datal Angas came barely 24 hours after another group of NPA fighters tried to overrun the police station in Mati City in Davao Oriental. 

An NPA rebel was slain in the foiled attack at the police station. Three soldiers were, however, killed when reinforcement from the military was met with landmine, which rebel blocking forces set off. Another soldier was also slain when he tried to escape from a rebel checkpoint. – 

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