Alleged rebel killed, one captured in NegOr clash

An alleged NPA rebel was captured while his comrade was killed, following a clash with military troopers in Barangay Budlasan, Canlaon City, Negros Oriental on Friday, April 28. (Photo courtesy of 62nd IB)

By Glazyl Y. Masculino

BACOLOD City – An alleged member of the New People’s Army (NPA) was killed, while his comrade was captured, following a clash with the troopers of the Army’s 62nd Infantry Battalion (IB) at Sitio Malatanglad, Barangay Budlasan, Canlaon City, Negros Oriental last Friday.

The Army identified the slain rebel as Anthony Curson, alias “Miguel,” an alleged member of Central Negros 1 (CN1). Captured was Leonido Montero, alias “Lanie” or “Dindo,” also an alleged member of CN1.

The 62nd IB claimed that Montero has standing arrest warrants for murder, illegal possession of explosives, illegal possession of firearms and ammunition, violation of Republic Act (RA) 8294 or the Unlawful Manufacture, Sale, Acquisition, Disposition or Possession of Firearms or Ammunition or Instruments Used or Intended to be Used in the Manufacture of Firearms or Ammunition, and RA 7166 or the Omnibus Election Code of the Philippines, all issued by Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 64 in Guihulngan City, Negros Oriental.

According to the Army, the soldiers engaged in a five-minute firefight with five NPA rebels when they responded to information on the alleged presence of an armed group in the area.

Recovered from the encounter site were two .45 caliber pistols with two magazines, and two sling bags. No casualty was reported on the government side.

The 62nd IB said that they are continuously intensifying its focused military operations to stop the atrocities of the remaining members of CN1 to sustain the peace and development in Negros island.

Meanwhile, the Leonardo Panaligan Command (LPC)-NPA Central Negros Guerrilla Front, condemned the death of Curson, whom they claimed to be brutally murdered.

“Isa ka Pulang Hangaway apang makabig nga Hors de combat si “Ka Miguel” bangud sang gina-antus sini nga sakit,” Ka JB Regalado, spokesperson of LPC-NPA, said in a statement.

The rebel group said that there was no legitimate encounter that happened, but an illegal arrest of Curson, whom they claimed was killed at the house of Montero.

Regalado said that government forces were not armed with search warrant or arrest warrant. He added that Montero is a farmer, who was redtagged since 2017, as an alleged supporter of the NPA.

Brigadier General Orlando Edralin, commander of the 303rd Infantry Brigade (IBde), lauded the efforts of the 62nd IB troopers for their prompt action to the report, and for preventing the NPA from conducting atrocities against the local residents in the area.

He also commended the vigilance of the local populace in helping and giving the troops accurate and significant information indicating their concerns for peace, order and security of their community.

“The local populace of Barangay Budlasan’s cooperation with our troops manifests their genuine desire for an NPA-free community. With the locals’ overwhelming support, we are confident that a peaceful and progressive Negros island can be achieved,” Edralin said in a statement.