Top NPA leaders slain in Bukidnon clash | Inquirer News

Top NPA leaders among those slain in Bukidnon clash

Army identifies 7 of 10 fatalities in Christmas Day operation against rebels in Malaybalay
/ 05:19 AM December 29, 2023

Top NPA leadersamong those slain in Bukidnon clash

RETRIEVAL | Community volunteers help retrieve the bodies of suspected New People’s Army rebels slain in a military operation in Malaybalay City, Bukidnon, on Dec. 25, 2023. (Photo by ROMEO LEDDA / Contributor)

ILIGAN CITY, Lanao del Norte, Philippines — Two leaders of the communist New People’s Army (NPA) and their daughter were among those killed in the Christmas Day operation launched by the military against rebels in the hinterlands of Malaybalay City in Bukidnon province.

The Army’s 4th Infantry Division on Thursday said they were able to identify seven of the 10 fatalities, based on profiles they had of the suspected rebels and with the help of rebel returnees who now work with the military’s counterinsurgency effort.


Among the seven, Beverly Sinunta, alias “Ayang,” was identified to have served as the secretary of the NPA’s subregional command (SRC) 2 which operates in Bukidnon while her husband, Alfredo Banawan, alias “Alab,” served as the deputy secretary, according to Lt. Col. Anthony Bacus, commanding officer of the Army’s 8th Infantry Battalion.


The SRC 2 is under the NPA’s North-Central Mindanao Regional Committee.

Bacus identified the third fatality as the couple’s daughter, Chen-chen Banawan, also known as “Pao” and “Chin2.” All three hailed from Sitio Trukat at Barangay Cawayan in Quezon, Bukidnon.

The other fatalities were Penita Singaman, alias “Pening,” of Barangay Kalasungay in Malaybalay City; Bebot Solinay, alias “Ligid,” of Barangay Bulonay in Impasugong, Bukidnon; Aurelio Gonsalez, alias “Alvin,” Barangay Kalasungay, Malaybalay; and a certain Loue who is said to be from Agusan.

Army officials had yet to provide other personal details of the fatalities at press time Thursday.

With the help of community volunteers, government troops retrieved the 10 bodies on Tuesday from Sitio Kieto at Barangay Can-ayan in Malaybalay and brought these to Villanueva Funeral Homes at the city center where these were processed for identification.Bacus said he had been closely coordinating with different intelligence communities and rebel returnees so they could identify the other bodies.

The Army has also informed the families of the slain NPA fighters and has coordinated with the police and the local government for the proper disposition and turn-over of their remains.


Zambonga encounter

In Zamboanga del Norte, Army soldiers clashed with NPA rebels in Sergio Osmeña town, in the boundary with Misamis Occidental province, around noon Thursday. The firefight lasted 15 minutes, reports said.

Lt. Col. Terence Ylanan, commanding officer of the Army’s 53rd Infantry Battalion, told the Inquirer that three rebels died in the clash.

Ylanan added that a gunfight on Wednesday night in the same area also killed one rebel.

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The slain NPA fighters in Zamboanga del Norte had yet to be identified on Thursday.

TAGS: 4th Infantry Division, Army-NPA clash, New People's Army

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