BUTUAN CITY – A political officer and platoon leader of the communist terrorist New People's Army (NPA) was killed in a clash in Surigao del Norte on Thursday.
In a statement on Friday, Lt. Col. Ryan Charles Callanta, commander of the Philippine Army's 30th Infantry Battalion (30IB), identified the rebel as alias "Asyong", who was slain in an encounter with government troops in Sitio Suoton, Barangay Cadianao, Claver.
“The 30IB troopers were conducting a security patrol in the hinterlands of Sitio Suoton after receiving reports on the presence of armed NPA insurgents when the encounter happened,” Callanta said.
The clash lasted for 15 minutes before the insurgents, led by a Roel T. Neniel alias Jacob abandoned their position and retreated.
Callanta said a unit from the 30IB was tasked by the 4th Infantry Division to provide security in areas under the Mineral Production Sharing Agreement (MPSA) in Claver where big mining companies are operating.
The companies, he added, have been the victims of attacks of the NPA rebels by burning their heavy equipment after failing to extort money.
Government troops also recovered from the encounter site two AK-47 rifles, an M-14 rifle, a bandolier, two magazines for AK-17, seven magazines for M-14, assorted ammunition, food supplies, and medicines.
The cadaver of the slain NPA political officer was brought to a local funeral parlor in Claver.
Callanta cited the support of the residents in the area that helped the 30IB repulse the plan of the NPA rebels, especially in terrorizing the big mining companies.
“The residents in the area are truly supporting the campaign of the government to end the local communist armed conflict,” Callanta said.
He also urged the remaining NPA rebels in Surigao del Norte to consider the offer of the government, especially the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP).
“It’s not too late for the remaining NPA rebels to surrender and avail of the ECLIP program of the government,” Callanta said.
The Communist Party of the Philippines - NPA is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand. (PNA)