Three high-ranking officials of the communist New People’s Army (NPA) were killed in a series of clashes with government troops stationed in Agusan Del Sur, the Philippine Army said on Friday.
The Army said a series of operations launched by the 4th Infantry (Diamond) Division that stymied movements by the NPA during their supposed 54th founding anniversary celebration last March 29.
Col. Francisco Lorenzo, officer-in-charge of the 401st Infantry Brigade based in Prosperidad, Agusan del Sur, said the 3rd Special Forces Battalion encountered around 20 NPA rebels at a mountainous area of Bayugan City, Agusan del Sur last March 30.
After responding to numerous reports from the residents that armed men were roaming their place, a 25-minute firefight transpired resulting in the death of suspected rebel leader Emmanuel Balano “Salem” Anub Sr. Charles Dantes
Last March 27, in the same area, two NPA leaders
identified as “Dano” and “Zig” were reportedly neutralized by the military.
“These are victories of the people. We were able to prevent CTG’s hostile plans for their anniversary because of the local folks who supported us and yearned for peace for the longest time,” Lorenzo said.
May these unfortunate events serve as an eye-opener to their remaining members that it is an opportune time to return to the folds of the law to avoid the same fate as their dead leaders. May they realize that the CTG no longer holds meaning to the society as it is already considered insignificant after 54 years of atrocities and violence,” he added.
The Armed Forces of the Philippines strongly believed that the communist insurgency around the country was nearing its end after intensified military operations to neutralize threats were conducted all over the country.
AFP encouraged members to surrender and disband guerrilla fronts and submit to the will of the Filipino people.