NPA in PSG convoy ambush shot dead

Acting on a tip, troops and policemen encountered a group of NPA rebels led by Commanders Jayco and Bobby in a remote village in Barangay Napalico, about four kilometers from where last Wednesday’s ambush occurred. Philstar.com/file

NPA in PSG convoy ambush shot dead

John Unson (The Philippine Star) - July 20, 2017 - 4:00pm

Joma: Martial law makes peace talks unnecessary

NORTH COTABATO, Philippines – Pursuing government troops yesterday shot dead one of the suspected New People’s Army (NPA) rebels who attacked a convoy of presidential guards in Arakan town.

Capt. Silver Belvis, spokesman for the Army’s 39th Infantry Battalion, said troops recovered a bag containing an improvised explosive device from the still unidentified rebel.

Acting on a tip, troops and policemen encountered a group of NPA rebels led by Commanders Jayco and Bobby in a remote village in Barangay Napalico, about four kilometers from where last Wednesday’s ambush occurred.

During the brief firefight that ensued, the unidentified rebel was killed while his comrades fled.

Officials said they are hunting down four rebels initially identified as Narding, Sario, Abe and Jimsom.

The four rebels were wounded in  Wednesday’s firefight with the Presidential Security Group (PSG) personnel in Barangay Katipunan.

Officials also identified the militiaman that was killed during the firefight between the rebels and the PSG.

Regional police spokesman Supt. Romeo Galgo Jr. said the rebels shot dead Ben Pajia, a member of the local Citizens Armed Forces Geographical Unit.

Pajia emerged from the other side of the road trying to check on the source of the gunfire, Galgo said.

Pajia was killed while five PSG men were wounded when they traded shots with the NPA rebels in military uniform who put up a checkpoint along a highway in Arakan.

Galgo said the retreating rebels took with them a villager identified as Rogelio Genon, a civilian agent of the regional police Criminal Investigation and Detection Group.

Pursuing government forces had captured two of the suspected attackers in Leon Postigo, Zamboanga del Norte, hours after the attack.

Police said Joseph Delfin Aradillos and Junjun Anta were taken into custody after they were discovered on board separate Red Cross ambulances being rushed to hospital for gunshot wounds.

A group of policemen manning a checkpoint flagged down the convoy and saw the two wounded suspects who were believed to have taken part in the attack in Arakan.

The NPA attack in Arakan, among other incidents, prompted the government to scuttle the peace talks with the communist rebels, which are scheduled next month.

Hours after the attack in Arakan, two Marines were killed by NPA rebels in Roxas, Palawan.

Earlier, suspected NPA rebels burned a banana plantation in Tago, Surigao de Sur on Tuesday.

Police said the rebels also burned six cargo trucks and heavy equipment of the banana plantation operated by Dole.

Ka Amihan, the NPA spokesman in Surigao del Sur, owned up to the attack, saying they wanted to teach a lesson to Dole regarding the use of pesticides.

Meanwhile, a suspected NPA rebel was charged with the killing of two soldiers and the wounding of 10 government troops in an ambush in Sindangan, Zamboanga del Norte last Sunday.

Police said Joy Andang Talip, a ‘habal-habal’ driver and a resident of Sindangan, was among the 40 NPA rebels who attacked the government troops last Sunday.

Talip was captured while two of his comrades were killed during the attack.

Joma: ML makes peace talks unnecessary

Communist Party of the Philippines founding chairman Jose Ma. Sison said the “obsession with martial law and mass murder” of Duterte made the peace talks unnecessary.

Sison also questioned the presence of a PSG van in North Cotabato and said the government could be laying the ground for nationwide martial law.

Edre Olalia, lawyer of the NDF consultants, lamented the development. He said the move of the OSG is “another unfortunate knee-jerk hardball reaction that does not solve but aggravates the situation.”

Tinay Palabay of militant group Karapatan also assailed the government’s move.

“OSG will be blatantly violating JASIG (Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantee) as among the agreements reaffirmed by government if it pushes through with re-arrest of NDF consultants. It is among the ways by which the peace process is continuously undermined by the government,” she said in a statement. – With Ben Serrano, Roel Pareño, Jose Rodel Clapano

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