Top NPA leader killed; 2 soldiers dead in Himamaylan clash

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A leader of the New People’s Army and 2 soldiers were killed in Sitio Medel, Brgy Carabalan, Himamaylan City, Negros Occidental in an ongoing gun battle that forced over 15,000 individuals to flee their homes.

Killed was Romeo V Nanta @ Juanito Magbanua/Juaning/Jack. He is currently the CO of the Regional Operational Command of the Komiteng Rehiyon – Negros and the spokesperson of the Apolinario Gatmaitan Command, the 303rd Infantry Brigade said in a statement.

It was the 5th encounter of 94IB with the communist terrorist group since a series of clash in Barangay Carabalan, Himamaylan City, Negros Occidental took place on October 6.

According to the military the 5th firefight lasted for 10 minutes leaving alias Juaning dead while his other companions scampered in different directions.

The NPA leader was previously arrested in 2011 for criminal cases such as murder, frustrated murder, robbery and damage to properties. However, he was bailed out by front organizations of the CPP-NPA-NDF in Negros then he returned to the terrorist movement and was involved again in various terroristic atrocities.

He was directly and indirectly responsible to the death of soldiers, policemen, CAFGU’s and innocent civilians, the military said. He is also responsible in the ambush of PNP personnel in Binalbagan early this year, the army added.

Meanwhile, the army confirmed that 2 soldiers were killed and 6 others were wounded. The fatalities were identified as Corporal Christian Drilon, a native of San Enrique, Iloilo, and Corporal Rex Verde, a native of Guimaras.

Brigadier General Inocencio Pasaporte, 303rd Brigade Commander commended the relentless efforts of 94IB headed by LtColonel Van Donald Almonte, Battalion Commander in tracking the armed NPA rebels who have splintered into small groups in the area and eventually catching up with the head of the regional operational command of the NPA in Negros Island.

He added: “The death of alias Juaning is a big blow to the NPA terrorist group as he is responsible in various atrocities aimed to intimidate businesses, quarry operators, contractors, local officials and agrarian reform beneficiaries in Negros Island to give in to their extortion demands. A notorious NPA terrorist’s leader with a numerous warrant of arrests that makes him the most wanted NPA terrorist in Negros Island.”

His death would clearly serve as a reminder that no one can escape the long arm of the law. It would also serve as justice to innocent civilians tagged as informants to justify their brand of justice and contribute to the collapse of NPA terrorists in Negros Island. Hopefully, it would lead to the realization of other members of the NPAs that their only option is to return to the fold of law.

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