SLAIN REBEL. The family of a New People's Army member who was killed in an encounter with government troops claims his body on Thursday (July 21, 2022). The Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict in Guihulngan City, the Army, local police, and the local government gave assistance to the rebel’s family. (Photo courtesy of 62IB, Philippine Army)

DUMAGUETE CITY – The local Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (TF-ELCAC) in Guihulngan City, Negros Oriental has given assistance to the family of a Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) rebel who died in an encounter with soldiers on Wednesday.

Juvita and Roel Landesa, the wife and son, respectively, of the slain NPA rebel, Pompeo D. Landesa, claimed his body at a funeral home in Guihulngan City on Thursday, a report from the 62nd Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army said.

Landesa, 56, of Sitio Dako in Barangay Sandayao, was tagged as a member of the NPA’s Central Negros 1 (CN1) of the Komiteng Rehiyon Negros/Cebu/Bohol/Siquijor.

He was killed during a five-minute firefight between his group of about five insurgents and 62IB troops in Sitio Taluktok in Barangay Sandayao.

Following the encounter in the remote, mountain barangay, authorities brought the body to Guihulngan City for post-mortem examination.

The TF-ELCAC provided the coffin for the slain rebel who was brought to a funeral home in Guihulngan City.

His family also received relief goods from the City Social Welfare and Development Office and livelihood products from the City Agriculturist Office.

Landesa joined the NPA in 2005, the military said.

After learning of the government’s programs for former rebels, such as the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP), the family has since been asking Landesa to surrender.

“Sa mga kauban ni papa, mag surrender na mo, para dili mahitabo ninyo ang nahitabo ni papa (to the comrades of my father, I encourage you to surrender so that you will not suffer the same fate),” Roel was quoted as saying.

Meanwhile, Lt. Col. William Pesase, 62IB commanding officer, told the Philippine News Agency that the encounter on July 20 is an indication of recovery efforts by the NPA’s CN1.

“For about two or three years, that area (Sandayao) had seen fewer clashes between the Army and the NPA, with the mass base already dwindling,” Pesase said in mixed English and Filipino.

Pesase reiterated the government’s call for the remaining NPA members to surrender and avail of the E-CLIP while countering claims by the insurgency movement that they will be killed when they turn themselves in, saying “that is a lie, a deception”.

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 National Democratic Front has been formally designated as a terrorist organization by the Anti-Terrorism Council on June 23, 2021, citing it as “an integral and inseparable part” of the CPP-NPA created in April 1973. (PNA)