ZAMBOANGA DEL SUR – At least two members of the New People’s Army (NPA rebels were killed during an almost one-hour firefight Thursday morning (April 22) with government forces in Sitio barangay Guinlin, Tigbao, this province.
The military identified the slain NPA rebels as Felimon Suazo alias Jonathan Cruz and also alias Ka Nathan, while the other slain rebel was identified as James Cordero alias Ka James and Ka Tito.
There were also two civilians who were hit by stray bullets but they were immediately rushed to a hospital in Pagadian City, the report said.
Brigadier General Leonel Nicolas, commander of the 102nd Infantry Brigade said the skirmishes between government forces and the terrorist rebels took place around 5:00 in the morning in Barangay Guinlin, Municipality of Tigbao, this province.
Nicolas revealed that the firefight ensued when members of the NPA rebels opened fire prompting the government forces to scamper for safety and retaliated.
The Army official said joint forces of the military and police operatives were about to serve warrants of arrest against six rebels who allegedly belong to the Main Regional Guerilla Unit (MRGU) of the NPA’s Western Mindanao Regional Party Committee (WMRPC) when they were welcomed with bullets by the rebels.
Based on government records, Suazo has a pending warrant of arrest for violation of Republic Act 11479 otherwise known as The Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020, and for the crimes of attempted murder and arson.
The military official said Suazo holds various positions in the revolutionary movement. He was a WMRPC executive committee member, finance officer, and member of the NPA’s Main Regional Guerilla Unit (MRGU) Squad 1.
Lt. Col. Jo-ar Herrera, 53rd Infantry Battalion commander, said captured during the firefight was Elvie Doctor, who carries the aliases of Ka Bangkat and Ka Nanang, a member of the WMRPC’s Execom and a political instructor of MRGU.
Doctor, who also served as a propagandist of the WMRPC, has standing warrants of arrest for the crimes of murder and direct assault. – with PNA reports