DAVAO CITY – Following the death of two New People’s Army (NPA) rebels this week, including a high-ranked official, the Eastern Mindanao Command (EastMinCom) said it will be a big blow to the communist terrorist group as its fate is now left in the hands of inexperienced members.
EastMinCom chief, Lt. Gen. Greg Almerol, in a statement on Friday, said the death of one alias Asyong will weaken the SYP Platoon 16C1, Guerrilla Front 16, North Eastern Mindanao Regional Committee (NEMRC) of the NPA.
Asyong, the vice commander and political officer of the NEMRC faction, was killed by troops of the 30th Infantry Battalion (IB) in a 15-minute encounter with a group of 10 rebels led by Roel Neniel alias Jacob in Barangay Cagdianao, Claver, Surigao del Norte on Sept. 2.
Two AK-47 rifles and an M14 rifle with magazines and bandolier were recovered.
“We abhor the idea of bloodshed and we do not want to see another rebel dying for the sake of the communist terrorist group. Therefore, I ask the remaining NPA members to surrender peacefully instead of wasting their lives on a senseless ideology,” Almerol said.
Another NPA rebel, Aldo Higyawan alias Ramon of Platoon Ryan, SRC1 of the North Central Mindanao Regional Committee, died in a clash with the 58th IB in Barangay Lawaan, Gingoog City on Aug. 29.
Acting on concerned citizens’ information, government troops discovered the NPA hideout.
After the encounter, they recovered two M16 rifles, an M14 rifle, assorted medical paraphernalia, materiel, and documents.
“This is proof of the people’s genuine intent to help the government in its crusade for peace and in pushing the end of the local communist armed conflict in their communities,” Almerol added.
Almerol condoled with the family of the slain rebels, whom he said were just victims of the Communist Party of the Philippines’ (CPP) deceptive schemes and selfish agenda.
“May this serve as a solid example that supporting the CPP’s cause will only bring pain and suffering as its agenda epitomizes terrorism and violence,” he said.
He urged remaining NPA members to yield peacefully and avail of the government’s livelihood assistance through the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program.
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, meanwhile, was formally designated as a terrorist organization by the Anti-Terrorism Council on June 23, 2021, citing it as “an integral and separate part” of the CPP-NPA that was created in April 1973. (PNA)