Google map of Dumingag town, Zamboanga del Sur.

ZAMBOANGA CITY – A rebel was killed after troops launched an operation against the remnants of the communist New People’s Army‘s (NPA) Western Mindanao Regional Party Committee (WMRP) in the Zamboanga Peninsula, the military said Tuesday.

Brigadier Gen. Leonel Nicolas, the Army's 102nd Infantry Brigade commander, said the clash around 9 a.m. Monday in Barangay Dipawak, Dumingag town, Zamboanga del Sur, resulted in the death of Nilo Runat Tambula Jr.

Nicola said Tambula was a member of the defunct NPA Guerilla Front Big Beautiful Country (BBC) under the WMRPC.

Soldiers from the Army's 53rd Infantry Battalion recovered an M16 rifle, assorted war materials, and personal belongings. No soldier was hurt during the 20-minute clash, according to Nicolas.

“The brigade will not cease in pursuing every remaining member of the WMRPC to ensure sustainable peace is achieved while supporting inclusive developmental programs of the government,” Nicolas said.

On June 14, the Regional Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict recommended the declaration of the region as insurgency-free after the successful dismantling of the NPA-BBC, the last remaining front operating in the Zamboanga Peninsula.

“We are giving the remnants of the WMRPC a better option and opportunity to have a fresh start with their families by laying down their arms and returning to the folds of the law, or face the full force of the law and follow the fate of their fallen comrades,” Nicolas said.

He said soldiers under the 44th and 53rd Infantry Battalions are still pursuing the evading remnants of the WMRPC.

The Communist Party of the Philippines-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 Anti-Terrorism Council also formally designated the NDF as a terrorist organization on June 23, 2021, citing it as “an integral and inseparable part” of the CPP-NPA that was created in April 1973. (PNA)