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NPA leader, comrade killed in gunbattle

BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN

The encounter site in Brgy. Amin, Isabela, Negros Occidental, where two rebels died in a clash with Army soldiers and policemen.* PA photo

The long arm of the law has finally caught up with a group of New People’s Army rebels tagged by authorities as behind the numerous killings of innocent civilians accused as military informants in central Negros.

Among those killed was Virgilio Marco Tamban, alias Bedam, who was reported by the Philippine Army, as commanding officer of the SYP (Sandatahang Yunit Pampropaganda) Lenovo Platoon of the Central Negros Front 1.

Lt. Col. William Pesase, 62nd Infantry Battalion commander, yesterday said that the group of Ka Bedam were the primary suspects in the recent killings of several civilians, including Jay Michael Ledesma in Brgy. Macagahay, Moises Padilla, Negros Occidental on March 2; Cris John Guyha on February 28 in Brgy. Luz, Guihulngan City, Negros Oriental; the brutal killings of former kagawad Lucio Perater and his son, Tony, on Feb. 16 in Brgy. Malangsa, Vallehermoso, Negros Oriental; and former CAFGU member Heide Boca on Feb. 19 in Brgy. Santol, Binalbagan, Negros Occidental.

“Justice was already served to the innocent civilian victims killed by these CPP-NPA terrorists,” Pesase said.

In separate statements issued earlier, the NPA in central Negros claimed responsibility in the killing of those victims they accused as military informants.

The identities of other slain rebel and his captured comrade are not available as of press time.

Two Army soldiers identified as PFC Mark Christian Brillo and Cpl. Alisasis Rex Blanco were injured in the brief gunbattle.

Brillo, who was hit in the left shoulder, and Blanco, who suffered a slight injury on his left middle finger, are now in stable condition, according to Brig. Gen. Inocencio Pasaporte, 303rd Infantry Brigade commander.

The cadavers of two slain rebels were discovered to have been left behind by their fleeing comrades at the encounter site by Army soldiers, who also recovered two caliber .45 pistols and a hand grenade.

PCapt. Joseph Partidas, Isabela acting police chief, said that they and 62IB soldiers were serving the arrest warrant of Ka Bedam, of Sitio Casingan, Brgy. Mani-ak, Guihulngan City, for violation of RA 10591,when the encounter ensued.

Partidas also reported that Bedam also served as an active hitman of the NPA Special Partisan Armed Revolutionary Unit (SPARU).

As a result of the encounter, Pesase said that they were able to foil plans of the rebel group to execute another civilian suspected of a military informant in Isabela town.

At the same time, he also commended the bravery of the concerned residents in divulging reliable information that led to the neutralization of rebels behind the spate of killings in central Negros.*

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