Five NPA rebels killed in gunfight
CEBU, Philippines — Five suspected members of the New People’s Army (NPA) were killed in an encounter Thursday dawn between the communist guerillas and the government troopers in Sitio Talingting, Barangay Luyang, Mabinay town in Negros Oriental.
Joint operatives of the Philippine Army and the Philippine National Police (PNP) Regional Mobile Force Battalion-7 together with the elements of Mabinay Police Station were on their way to serve a warrant of arrest against a certain Sayas Ribilista when the firefight erupted. Ribilista was among the five killed during the 30-minute gun battle.
Authorities were tipped of Ribilista’s presence and the group of armed men in the area prompting the operation. Government troopers claimed they were fired upon by at least 13 members of the communist rebels while approaching the two houses reportedly occupied by Ribilista and his group.
A 30-minute gun battle ensued resulting in the deaths of Ribilista and four of his companions. The other suspected rebels withdrew from the area leaving their fallen comrades.
Authorities recovered three M-16 rifles, one AK-47 rifle, one caliber .45 pistol, four rifle grenades, one improvised explosive device, assorted rounds of ammunition, and several subversive documents.
Lieutenant Colonel Ramir Redosendo, commanding officer of the 11th Infantry Battalion, thanked the residents in the area for immediately reporting the presence of the rebels.
“This is a clear manifestation that the local residents do not want to be deceived again by the lies of these NPA terrorists. It also shows that EO 70 and the Negros Oriental Task-Force to End the Local Communist Armed Conflict (NOTF-ELCAC) is up and running,” Redosendo said.
“We appeal to the members and supporters of the Communist NPA Terrorists (CNTs) to surrender, return to the folds of the law and avail government’s reintegration program to avoid suffering the same fate that had happened to your peers,” he added.
Police Regional Office (PRO)-7 director Brigadier General Albert Ignatius Ferro said the NPA members are also harassing civilians during the distribution of cash assistance under the government’s Social Amelioration Program.
Ferro also believes that Ribilista’s group was responsible in the execution of four policemen in Ayungon town in July 2019. FPL (FREEMAN)