Alleged NPA remnant killed in clashes

Military troopers recovered a high-powered firearm, following two clashes that killed an alleged NPA rebel in Barangay Quintin Remo, Moises Padilla, Negros Occidental Tuesday. (Photo courtesy of 62nd IB)

By Glazyl Y. Masculino 

BACOLOD CITY – An alleged remnant of the New People’s Army (NPA) was killed in two clashes with the Army’s 62nd Infantry Battalion (IB) in Barangay Quintin Remo, Moises Padilla, Negros Occidental yesterday.

The Army’s 3rd Infantry Division (ID) identified the fatality as Richard Dela Peña, alias “Rocky,” 50, an alleged remnant of the dismantled Central Negros 1 (CN1), Komiteng Rehiyon – Negros, Cebu, Bohol, Siquijor (KR-NCBS), who resided in Sitio Inangaw in the said village.

The first encounter broke out around 7 a.m. while military troopers were conducting combat operations in response to a report from the community about the alleged presence of around seven armed remnants of CN1, KR-NCBS at Sitio Inangaw. The firefight lasted for about 10 minutes.

It was followed by another clash an hour later between the blocking force of the 62nd IB and about five fleeing NPA rebels at Sitio Saksak around 8:30 a.m.

Recovered by military troopers from the encounter site were an M16 A1 rifle with a magazine loaded with 20 serviceable rounds, a bandolier with two magazines for an M16 rifle and 20 serviceable rounds, and subversive documents with high intelligence value.

Lieutenant Colonel J-jay Javines, head of the Division Public Affairs Office (DPAO), said the remains of Dela Peña were recovered at the clash site.

According to the 62nd IB, Dela Peña’s alleged link to the rebel group operating in the town’s hinterlands was confirmed by a former NPA rebel.

In a statement, the 62nd IB said that Dela Peña was allegedly involved in various crimes and human rights violations, including the murder of Albert Goles, who was killed on April 24, after being suspected as a military informant.

Dela Peña was also reported to have been in the company of Marivic Ebarle, an alleged NPA rebel killed in an encounter on July 20, 2023, at Sitio Kawayanan, Barangay Montilla of the same municipality, according to the 62nd IB.

The leadership of the 3ID commended the operating troops of the 62nd IB and the people for their concerted efforts that led to the neutralization of an alleged NPA remnant and the seizure of a high-powered firearm.

“Our peace and security efforts in Negros will persist, even as the achievement of a stable internal peace and security environment for all Negrenses is at hand,” Major General Marion Sison, 3ID commander, said in a statement. “This is an integral part of our sustainment strategy to prevent any attempts at recovery and resurgence by the dismantled guerrilla fronts of the NPA,” he added.