Map of Palimbang, Sultan Kudarat. (Image courtesy of 6ID)

CAMP SIONGCO, Maguindanao – A suspected communist rebel was killed during a clash with government troops in Sultan Kudarat’s town of Palimbang, the military here said Tuesday.

Lt. Col. Guillermo Mabute Jr., the Army’s 57th Infantry Battalion (57IB) commander, said soldiers chanced upon five communist rebels in Barangay Tibuhol in Palimbang town at 4:45 p.m. Sunday, leading to a brief exchange of gunfire.

When the smoke cleared, soldiers found the remains of a slain New Peoples’ Army (NPA) member identified only as a certain Ka Rene by locals.

Recovered beside him were a .30-caliber Garand rifle, ammunition, and sling bag containing personal items.

Since January this year, a total of 45 NPA communist group members have been neutralized -- 6 killed and 39 peacefully surrendered -- by the Army’s 6th Infantry Division in Central Mindanao.

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 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)