Army exec sees death of 11 NPA rebels as end of Reds in QuezonPhilippine Daily Inquirer
LUCENA CITY—The killing of 11 New People’s Army (NPA) rebels in a clash with government forces in San Narciso, Quezon, on Saturday was the final blow that could end the communist insurgency in the province, a top Army official said on Sunday.
“The incident is a major setback to the NPA in Quezon. The final nail to its coffin so to speak,” Col. Eduardo Año, commander of the Army’s 201st Infantry Brigade, said in a phone interview.
With the killing of 11 rebels, by far the largest number of NPA casualties in a single encounter in recent history, the Quezon insurgents have been reduced into 23 armed guerrillas, said Año.
On Saturday, troops from the 74th Infantry Battalion engaged 15 rebels in Barangay White Cliff in a 45-minute fire fight before the rebels retreated in different directions leaving behind 11 bodies of their dead comrades, three of whom were women.
Two Army soldiers—Private first class Moises Magora and Private Jonel Badulid—were slightly wounded.
The soldiers recovered four M-16 Armalite rifles, a Baby Armalite with M203 grenade launcher, a shotgun, an M79 grenade launcher, ammunitions and an improvised explosive device.
Año identified three of the rebel casualties as Armando Albarillo, alias “Ka Jun,” alleged NPA commander; Rosario Oblinar (Ka Cristy), NPA secretary; and her spouse Eduardo Oblinar (Ka Emer), an NPA platoon leader. The rest of the NPA casualties have yet to be identified, he said.
Año said the presence of the rebels was tipped off to the military by concerned citizens. “With the active cooperation of the citizens, our target of ending the communist insurgency in Quezon province this year will be accomplished much sooner,” Año said.
In Central Luzon, Brig. Gen. Alan Luga, commander of the Army’s 7th Infantry Division based in Fort Magsaysay, Nueva Ecija, yesterday said two suspected NPA rebels were killed while another was arrested in three separate clashes with government troops in Zambales, Nueva Vizcaya and Nueva Ecija on Saturday.
The NPA’s Central Luzon Regional Committee, which was reported to have control over the three units that clashed with government soldiers, has not issued a statement about the recent breakout of hostilities.
Luga said no details were known on the identities of the two rebels who died in an encounter that broke out at 5:30 a.m. in Barangay Mambog in Botolan, Zambales.
The bodies were taken to a funeral parlor in the capital town of Iba.
He said Lito Collado, known as Warry in Tarlac, was arrested after the clash. Soldiers took Collado to the provincial hospital where he was treated for a bullet wound in his leg.
Lieutenant Colonel Michael Samson, commander of the Army’s 24th Infantry Battalion, said government forces recovered four Armalite rifles, a shotgun, a hand grenade, two rifle grenades and antigovernment documents in the clash site.
Three residents who were arrested with Collado were released after they were cleared by village officials, the military’s Northern Luzon Command said in another report.
In another clash in Nueva Vizcaya at 8 a.m., soldiers recovered two rifles in the clash site in Barangay Talbek in Dupax del Sur town. An M-16 Armalite rifle was recovered after a clash between government troops and NPA rebels in Barangay Pias in General Tinio, Nueva Ecija, at 4:30 p.m.
Luga said residents reported seeing the rebels in their villages.
In Albay province, the Daraga police has filed frustrated murder charges against five suspected NPA members believed responsible for last May’s attack on an Army detachment and the burning of heavy equipment at the construction site of the Southern Luzon International Airport (SLIA) in Daraga town.
The same group would also be charged with arson by the Bureau of Fire Protection for the destroyed properties of Sunwest Construction and Development Corp., the contractor of the SLIA project, and two other constructions firms, said Senior Supt. Paulino Belga, PNP assistant provincial director.
Charged at the provincial prosecutor’s office on Friday were Rolando Alcera, of Oas town; Dante Orcio, of Camalig; Eduardo Sevilla, of Libon; Rolito Calayas and Jose Bernardino, both of Pioduran. Delfin T. Mallari Jr. and Mar S. Arguelles, Inquirer Southern Luzon; Tonette Orejas and Armand Galang, Inquirer Central Luzon