BY CRIS DIAZ, Executive Editor
CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY: State forces killed a suspected communist rebel and seized five high powered firearms during hot pursuit against 30 armed men believed members of the New People’s Army (NPA) in Lanao del Sur, the military said Wednesday.
Maj. Francisco Garello, Jr., of the army’s public affairs office in Camp Evangelista, with his forearm identified the fatality as a certain alias Rasty/Hasel/Ade together with one unit General Purpose Machine Gun (GPMG).
Four other firearms consisting of two Cal 5.56mm M16 Rifles; one Cal 5.56mm M653 Rifle; and one Cal 7.62mm AK-47 Rifle, were also seized.
He said that the NPA rebels were now on the run following the death of Pedro Codaste, 70, a.k.a.”Gonyong,” Mindanao’s number two rebel commander, next to George Madlos a.k.a Oris.
According to Garello, the army’s 1st Special Forces Battalion led by Lt Col Vercisio San Jose engaged the fleeing NPA rebels in the tri-boundaries of the municipalities of Amai Manabilang, Lumba-Bayabao, and Maguing, all in Lanao del Sur, which resulted in a running gun battle in the area.
Acting 4ID Commander Brig. Gen. Oliver T Vesliño said that the military is conducting relentless operations against the communist rebels In Northern Mindanao at the start of 2022.
He said that for the month of January 1, 2022 until January 26, 2022, the military has already engaged a total of 15 armed encounter with communist rebels in Northern Mindanao.
Vesliño said that the military operations resulted in the death of three rebels, including Mindanao’s top commander Pedro Codaste, the seizure of 35 high powerwd firearms and the surrender of 27 NPA rebels. -0-