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Rebel leader falls in gun battle

BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN

Army soldiers retrieve the cadaver of a slain rebel leader from an encounter site in Brgy. Trinidad, Guihulngan City, Negros Oriental.* PA photo

Another leader of the New People’s Army yesterday died in an encounter with Army soldiers in Sitio Banderahan, Brgy. Trinidad, Guihulngan City, Negros Oriental.

Brig. Gen. Inocencio Pasaporte, 303rd Infantry Brigade commander, identified the slain rebel leader as Victor Baldonado, commanding officer of the Section Guerilla Unit 3 of the Central Negros 1, under the Komiteng Rehiyonal Negros/Cebu/Bohol/Siquijor.

Pasaporte disclosed that the group of Baldonado was responsible for the killing of CAFGU member Joselito Raboy on September 24 this year; harassment of a police detachment in Brgy. Trinidad, Guihulngan City; intimidation of civilians suspected as military informants in the tri-boundaries of Canlaon and Guihulngan cities in Negros Oriental, and Moises Padilla in Negros Occidental.

Soldiers of the 62IB, who figured in the encounter with the group of Baldonado, also recovered an M-16 assault rifle with three magazines containing 43 rounds of ammunition and a backpack containing personal belongings.

Pasaporte said the five-minute gun battle ensued after Army soldiers responded to reports of civilians on the presence of armed rebels in their community.

While approaching the area, Army soldiers were fired upon by rebels, triggering a brief firefight that resulted in the death of Baldonado, he added.

Early this month, two rebels also died in an encounter with 62IB led by Lt. Col. William Pesase in Brgy. Trinidad, Guihulngan City.*

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