TACLOBAN CITY– An alleged member of the New People’s Army (NPA) was killed as a result of an encounter with government troops in San Jose de Buan, Samar on Monday (Sept.25) afternoon.
The rebel was killed in a 20-minute encounter in Sitio Salvacion of Barangay San Nicolas in the said town with the soldiers belonging to the 63rd Infantry Battalion at about 12:51 pm.
The encounter was a result of ‘running gun battles’ between the government troops and the 15 members of the communist armed group which started last Saturday(Sept.23) in the hinterland villages of Samar, B/Gen. Noel Vestuir, the commanding officer of the 802nd Infantry Brigade.
As of this writing, the dead body of the rebel is still in the area of encounter and will be turned over to village officials for identification purposes.
It was learned that the communist rebels were said to be members of the Yakal platoon of the sub-regional committee ‘Browser’ that operates in the western parts of Samar Island.
These areas are now the target of ‘massive operations’ by the government troops, Vestuir said.
“We are optimistic that with the timely information provided by the local residents in the area, our troops will locate and hit their targets including the formations of the remnants of the NPA terrorist,” he said in a statement.
“The cooperation of the communities and the local leaders is a clear manifestation of the dwindling support of the masses that would eventually cut their alliance and ties with the Communist Party of the Philippines-NPA-National Democratic Front(CPP-NPA-NDF) terrorists,” he added.
Vestuir urged the remaining NPA members who continue to fight against the government to surrender and return to the fold of the law.
“Now is the time to abandon your life of terror and danger in exchange for well-spent quality living with your families in the comforts of your home. I also call on the families of remaining NPA members to save your loved ones from peril and encourage them to heed the popular clamor of laying down their arms and join the bandwagon for peace,” he said.
(JOEY A. GABIETA)