NPA leader killed in Davao City, clashes erupt in Zamboanga
DAVAO CITY – A senior communist rebel leader was killed after attacking policemen trying to arrest him in Davao City and troops also clashed with insurgents in Zamboanga del Sur province in southern Philippines, officials said Thursday.
Officials said members of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group fatally shot Berdan Ramos on Wednesday. The 40-year old liaison officer of the New People’s Army was tracked down in his hideout and being served an arrest warrant when he fired upon the policemen.
Police recovered a hand gun and an improvised bomb from Ramos, who was wanted for a string of criminal charges.
Soldiers also clashed Wednesday with rebel forces in the village of Mati in Zamboanga del Sur’s Tigbao town. The fighting erupted after patrolling soldiers chanced upon a band of insurgents.
There was no report of casualties from both sides, but army Captain Jo-ann Petinglay, a spokeswoman for the Western Mindanao Command, said soldiers recovered a .45-caliber pistol, ammunition for Ak47 automatic rifle and four mobile phones left behind by rebels belonging to the Sandatahang Yunit Panggubatan Kara of the Western Mindanao Regional Party Committee.
“Troops are currently scouring the area of engagement. The military continues to assist the police and the local government units in the intensified conduct of law enforcement operations to expedite the arrest of NPA members in the province of Zamboanga del Sur,” she said.
Major General Carlito Galvez, the regional military commander, said civilians were cooperating and even helping the soldiers by providing intelligence to the military about the NPA.
“We will not allow the NPA to create fear and havoc in any of the communities under Western Mindanao Command area of operations, we will make them want to surrender and go back to the folds of the government,” he said.
The military reported frequent fighting between soldiers and rebels across the country following the collapse of the peace talks. Communist negotiators were demanding the release of over 400 rebels detained in jails, but President Rodrigo Duterte wanted to seal a peace deal before freeing the political prisoners. The rebels have been fighting for a separate state in the country. (Mindanao Examiner)