Army offensives in Bukidnon kill NPA terrorist leader

MALAYBALAY CITY — A terrorist leader of the New People’s Army (NPA) died Saturday after being fatally hit by pursuing special skilled soldiers of the 88th Infantry Battalion in an intensified offensive combat operations following the recent instruction of President Rodrigo Duterte to the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

The gunfight transpired in an isolated forested area believed within the jurisdiction of Sitio Bangkalawan, Barangay Lumintao, Quezon, Bukidnon around 9:30 in the morning, 28 September 2019.

The terrorist NPA leader was later identified by former rebels as Joven Manggatawan aka “Amana.” He was said to be the leader of Sentro de Grabidad (SDG) platoon of CPP-NPA’s Company Thunder, Subregional Command 2 of Southern Mindanao Regional Committee (SRC2-SMRC) terrorizing southern Bukidnon areas.

This NPA group made earlier claims of being responsible for attacks and atrocities on civilian farm compounds and destruction of civilian-owned equipment in southern Bukidnon.

“We have exhausted ways to reach out to NPA as we tried to convince them to return to the folds of law and live a peaceful life with their families. We have so far convinced 110 regular NPAs, but there are still those who opted to remain. They would have to face the might of the military. While we extend our hands to offer peace, we are also duty-bound to use sufficient military force against those who continue to terrorize civilians and destroy civilian properties. The constitution mandates the AFP to protect the people, and we will not remiss with that mandate,” Brig Gen Edgardo De Leon, Commander, 403rd Infantry Brigade said.

The fleeing NPA terrorists left behind one (1) M16 rifle; two (2) anti-personnel mines which are banned by the Ottawa Conventions; one (1) rifle grenade; two (2) ammunition magazines for M16 rifle; one (1) ammunition magazine for AK47 rifle; one (1) Baofeng brand commercial radio; six (6) 20-liter water containers filled with rice grain; assorted personal belongings and subversive documents.

MGen. Franco Nemesio Gacal, Commander of 4th Infantry Division, commended the soldiers of 88th Infantry Battalion for their gallantry in defeating the NPA terrorists.

“Somehow they have given justice to the many civilian victims of NPA atrocities. But it is not enough. The NPA leaders must be prosecuted in courts for violating the International Humanitarian Law (IHL) which is punishable under Republic Act 9851. The victims must be indemnified by the CPP-NPA. The NDF must investigate and explain to the public why the NPA keeps on attacking civilians,” MGen Gacal said.