NPA fighter surrenders following death of two comrades
DIGOS CITY, Philippines – An alleged supply officer of Front Committee (FC) 51 of the New People’s Army (NPA) gave himself up to the Army’s 39th Infantry Battalion (IB) past 9 p.m. on Saturday in a hinterland village of this city, some 50 kilometers from Davao City.
Lieutenant Colonel Rhojun Rosales, 39th IB commander, on Sunday said a local rebel leader identified only as “Ricky,” 38, decided to surrender following the death of two of his comrades in a clash with soldiers in Sitio Lanan, Barangay Goma, Digos City in the morning of April 5.
Ricky, of Sta. Cruz town in Davao del Sur, said he and his comrades were overpowered by soldiers who were backed by a helicopter, forcing them to scamper to different directions at the height of the gun battle.
“I decided to surrender after I learned that my leader was killed during that encounter. His fate has come to an end and I was afraid I’ll meet mine,” he told the Inquirer in the vernacular.
Rosales said his men encountered some 30 rebels in the hinterland sitio of Lanan, leading to the deaths of two suspected NPA leaders, one of whom was a woman.
The fatalities were later identified as Roberto Castellote, the alleged commander of FC 51, and Lesly Pulido alias Camille, allegedly the secretary of the front.
Brigadier General Mario Lacurom, officer-in-charge of 10th Infantry Division (ID), commended the 39th IB’s leadership and troops for the successful operation.
“Carry on Agila troopers. With people supporting our campaign against communist insurgency in the area of responsibility, we will continue on protecting them and secure their communities. Peace and development will follow,” he said in a statement. /cbb
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