Soldier, 2 NPA rebels slain in clashes
Gilbert Bayoran (The Philippine Star) - June 25, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — New People’s Army (NPA) rebels clashed with government forces in Negros Oriental and Compostela Valley over the weekend, leaving a soldier and two communist guerrillas dead.

Brig. Gen. Ignacio Madriaga, 302nd Infantry Brigade commander, said a soldier and an NPA rebel were killed and two other soldiers were wounded in an encounter in Barangay Bantulinao, Manjuyod.

Madriaga said five landmines, a rifle grenade, a fragmentation grenade, assorted magazines with 268 rounds of ammunition, 13 cellular phones, six jungle hammocks, medical equipment, cooking utensils and subversive documents were among those recovered at the scene.

The military said the clash occurred several hours after the Office of the Presidential Assistant of the Visayas in coordination with the Central Visayas police conducted a medical mission in the area.

He said there were indications that the rebels attempted to use the landmines during the medical mission.

NPA leader

First Lt. Amadeuz Celestial, civil-military operations officer of the 60th Infantry Battalion (IB), said Jay Mendoza, who was killed in a shootout with government troopers in Compostela Valley, was the deputy secretary of the NPA’s Guerrilla Front 2, sub-regional committee 2, Southern Mindanao Command and a member of the executive committees of various NPA units.

Celestial said Mendoza and his companion fired at police officers and soldiers of the 60th IB serving warrants of arrest for murder, frustrated murder, robbery and serious illegal detention at the hideout of the NPA leader. 

 Police said Mendoza was tagged in the killing of two Army officers and 16 soldiers, several police personnel, militiamen and rebel returnees from 2006 to 2018.  

Celestial said Mendoza was also involved in the burning of mining equipment, vehicles and office of a mining company in Maco, Compostela Valley in 2012 as well as the attack on the office of a security agency in Tagum City in May 2014. 

The NPA leader was also allegedly behind the attack on a police station in Governor Generoso town, kidnapping of the police chief in 2016 and torching of mining equipment in Davao Oriental in January 2018 aside from extortion activities.

Celestial said Mendoza’s cohort, who was also killed in the gunfight, was on the drug watchlist of the police in Laak town. – Michael Punongbayan

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