TALACOGON, Agusan del Sur – Government troops killed a notorious hitman of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People's Army (CPP-NPA) during a firefight which ensued when the alleged NPA hitman returned fire at pursuing members of the .
Police probers identified the victim as Joeboy Mantipala alias Bernabe,28. He was killed after he and his fellow NPA terrorists engaged soldiers and policemen in a running gun-battle after trying to avoid pursuing troops in Barangay Marbon.
He sustained gunshot wounds on different parts of his body. Soldiers immediately brought him to Talacogon District Hospital but was declared Dead on Arrival by the attending physician.
Mantipala was earlier tagged as one of the killers of Felipe Amado, a CAFGU Active Auxiliary (CAA) who was killed in Barangay Lydia, San Luis earlier in the afternoon of May 30.
Amado was off-duty and was participating in the Brigada Eskwela in the said barangay when he was killed by Mantipala’s group.
Up until his death, Mantipala was the Vice Commanding Officer of Platoon Banglas, Guerilla Front 88 of the NPA’s North Eastern Mindanao Regional Committee.
He was positively identified by witnesses prompting Army and PNP units to launch manhunt operations against him and his cohorts. He was also tagged as one of the killers of Rubencio Salamoren, Barangay Chairman of Brgy. San Pedro, San Luis. Salamoren was shot to death last February 27, 2019 while driving his motorcycle in Don Alejandro, San Luis.
“We have received reports of the NPA’s plan to attack government personnel including soldiers and policemen. Unfortunately for them, we have the support of the people now that is why we were able to track down Mantipala easily,” said Lt. Col. Romeo Jimenea, Commanding Officer of 26th Infantry Battalion.
Recovered on site was Caliber.45 pistol, two magazines with seven live ammunitions and a Honda Motorcycle.
Jimenea condoled with Mantipala’s family. He said they tried to save him and bring him to the bars of justice. “Sana sumuko na lang siya ng maayos. He could have surrendered and have the chance to live with his family but he made the wrong decision,” Jimenea added.
Col. Allan Hambala, 401st Brigade Commander expressed his contentment to 26IB for its swift and decisive action against Bernabe’s group. “This should serve as a warning to CPP-NPA terrorists who still choose a life of violence. We will come and get you. We will never stop running after you because you prey on helpless citizens. We will hunt you down until you give up and surrender,” Hambala said. – PR