CAMP EVANGELISTA, Cagayan de Oro City – The Army’s 4th Infantry Division (4ID) ended the reign of terror of Communist Party of the Philippines – New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) leader Jorge Madlos (alias Ka Oris) after he was killed, together with a fellow rebel, in an encounter in a mountainous area in Impasugong, Bukidnon on Saturday.
According to a news release, the 403rd Infantry Brigade (IB) of the 4ID launched operations at around 12:30 a.m. in response to information provided by residents of Sitio Gabunan in Barangay Dumalaguing that armed groups believed to be members of the National Operations Command (NOC) of the CPP-NPA Komiteng Mindanao, Regional Operations Command, and Guerilla Front 89 of the North Central Mindanao Regional Command were conducting indoctrination in the area.
Brig. Gen. Ferdinand Barandon, commander of the 403 IB, said assaulting troops, composed of the 8IB, 1 Special Forces Battalion, and 88IB, detected anti-personnel mines (APM).
“The CNTs’ (CPP-NPA terrorists) positions were fortified with APMs, hence, we can assume at that time that they were protecting their top leadership. In order to protect our troops, we called for close air support and delivered air strikes towards the CNT positions,” Barandon said.
At around 11:30 a.m., ground forces conducted the final assault and encountered more or less 30 CNTs.
After a 30-minute firefight, assaulting troops cleared the area, discovered two bodies, and recovered one M14 rifle, one KG9 rifle, ammunition of different calibers, materiel, and assorted personal belongings.
In another statement, Maj. Gen. Romeo Brawner Jr., commander of the 4ID, confirmed that one of the fatalities was Madlos, also the NOC and National Democratic Front (NDF) – Mindanao spokesperson, and Eighfel Dela Pena (alias Pika/Maui), a medic of the NOC.
Madlos’ wife, Myrna Sularte (alias Maria Malaya), is the secretary of North Eastern Mindanao Regional Committee.
The most wanted NPA commander in Mindanao, Madlos, 71, faced multiple criminal cases such as robbery with homicide, damage to properties, murder, and double frustrated murder.
Brawner lauded the combined forces for the neutralization of the two rebels and the courage of the civilians who provided information that led to the twin deaths.
“Ka Oris’ reign of terror has finally ended. Unfortunately, the consequences of his atrocities led to a tragic ending. Now, justice has been served for those innocent civilians and their communities he terrorized for several decades. His death could be the final blow for the eventual collapse of the communist terrorist group here,” Brawner stated.
He said the death of Madlos will hopefully make the insurgents realize that the downfall of the NPA in Mindanao is inevitable and the only option left is for them to surrender.
“I am reiterating our call for peace. Magbalik loob na kayo sa mapayapang pamumuhay (Go back to a peaceful life) and avail of the E-CLIP (Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program). We will ensure your safety and we will guide you towards a peaceful life so that you will not suffer the same fate as Ka Oris. Our success is brought about by the convergence of the local government agencies, local government units, and local populace. Indeed, civilian participation is the key ingredient in ending the local communist armed conflict in our country,” Brawner said.
E-CLIP is a program designed to help CPP-NPA-NDF and Militia ng Bayan members restore their allegiance to the government and provides access to medical, financial, legal and livelihood assistance.
The CPP-NPA is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines.
The NDF has been 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 created in April 1973. (PR)