ILOILO CITY—Police in Western Visayas have been alerted to a possible escalation of armed hostilities between the New People’s Army (NPA) and the breakaway Revolutionary Proletarian Army-Alex Boncayao Brigade following the killing of an RPA-ABB commander in Iloilo.
Chief Supt. Agrimero Cruz Jr., Western Visayas police director, said the PNP has been closely monitoring the two groups after the NPA claimed responsibility for the killing of Joven Tababa who belongs to the RPA-ABB faction led by Nilo de la Cruz.
Heavily armed men gunned down Tababa in Barangay Bagacay in Tigbauan town in Iloilo on Jan. 25.
In a statement on Jan. 29, the NPA’s Napoleon Tumagtang Command, the rebel group operating in southern Panay, claimed responsibility for the attack.
Rebel spokesperson Ka Ariston Remus said Tababa was punished for involvement in killings, extortion and threats against residents of Tigbauan, Guimbal and San Joaquin towns in Iloilo and Sibalom town in Antique.
Remus also accused the RPA-ABB of serving as “armed goons of politicians.”
The RPA-ABB has denied the allegations of the NPA and has accused the communist rebels of killing RPA-ABB leaders in retaliation for breaking away.
In the group’s statement issued to the news organizations in Iloilo, the RPA-ABB condemned the attack and vowed “justice” for Tababa.
The Rebolusyonaryong Partido ng Manggagawa Pilipinas (RPMP) broke away from the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and NPA in the 1990s over ideological differences.