Eleazar commends Bicol cops for killing 5 NPA rebels; CPP says slain were peasants | Inquirer News

Eleazar commends Bicol cops for killing 5 NPA rebels; CPP says slain were peasants

/ 06:49 PM October 25, 2021
NPA surrender

 Photo from the Philippine Army

MANILA, Philippines — Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Gen. Guillermo Eleazar has heaped praise on the Police Regional Office 5 (PRO-5) for neutralizing alleged New People’s Army (NPA) rebels, including key members, in Madaon town, Masbate.

In a statement on Monday, Eleazar said that local operatives were set to enforce an arrest order for supposed NPA Larangan 1 guerrilla front leader Eddie Rosero, whom PNP says goes by the aliases “Arnold Rosero” and “Ka Star”, in Madaon’s Barangay Bugtong.

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PNP said that Rosero had outstanding charges, for five counts of murder and another case for attempted murder.

However, Eleazar said that Rosero directed his companions, believed part of the NPA, to engage the police officers approaching.  Rosero and four others died during the encounter.

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“I commend our personnel at PRO-5, headed by PBGen Jonnel C Estomo, for their successful operation last Sunday (October 24) that resulted in the neutralization of 5 members of the CPP/NPA/NDF in Masbate,” Eleazar said.

The PNP chief added that the operation is part of the police force’s campaign for peaceful elections, noting that the communist terrorist groups may affect the country’s democratic processes.

“This operation is also part of our elections security preparations in order to deny all armed groups, which includes the CPP/NPA/NDF from undermining our democratic process for the 2022 local and national elections, especially in Masbate, which has a  long history of election violence and the presence of the enemy in the province,” Eleazar noted.

But according to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), the individuals who died during the police operation are peasants and not NPA members.  CPP chief information officer Marco Valbuena also said that Rosero is a local resident and not a communist fighter.

CPP oversees the operation of the NPA, which acts as its military arm.

“[CPP] condemns in the strongest terms the [PNP] for the massacre of at least five peasants yesterday early morning in Barangay Bugtong, Mandaon town in Masbate province.  Contrary to the PNP’s claims in their press releases, the victims were not members of the [NPA]. The PNP identified one of the victims as Eddie/Arnold Rosero, a local resident,” Valbuena said.

Valbuena also claimed that as per the information handed by NPA’s Regional Operational Command in Bicol, “there was no armed encounter yesterday nor was there an NPA unit in the area”.

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“We hold the PNP accountable for this heinous crime. This was committed by the police following direct orders of the police chief to ‘put an end’ to the NPA in Masbate and the Bicol region,” he claimed.

But police officers who led the operation said that they recovered two .45 caliber pistols, three M-16 rifles, one M-14 rifle, and several improvised explosive devices (IED).

Eleazar said that this campaign in Masbate is part of a more significant effort to rid areas of conflict and ensure peaceful 2022 elections.

“Bukod sa Masbate, mahigpit na tinututukan na din ang mga ibang lugar sa ating bansa upang matiyak na payapa, maayos at tapat ang resulta ng eleksyon sa susunod na taon.”

(Aside from Masbate, we are also strictly monitoring other areas in the country to ensure peaceful and honest elections next year.)

PNP has been pursuing intense action against NPA forces in Masbate, especially after two civilians — Far Eastern University footballs standout Kieth Absalon and his cousin Nolven Absalon — were killed when an IED planted by communist rebels went off.

READ: CPP, NPA own up to Masbate mine blast; express ‘deep remorse’ for death of civilians 

READ: Eleazar tells NPA: If you’re sincere, surrender those responsible for Masbate blast 

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TAGS:  PNP, Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), communist rebels, CPP, Gen. Guillermo Eleazar, Masbate, New People's Army, NPA, Phil‎ippine National Police, Philippine news updates
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