Top NPA rebel leader falls

THE recovered M16 rifle, assorted ammunition, electronic devices, subversive documents and foodstuff left behind by the fleeing rebels after an encounter with the Army at Brgy. Tampalon, Kabankalan City, around 5:50 a.m. Tuesday. (303rd Infantry Brigade photo)

BACOLOD City – Joint Army and PNP forces arrested a top leader of the New People’s Army (NPA) morning of April 2, 2019 while conducting combat operations at Sitio Ilawod, Brgy. Tampalon Kabankalan City, Negros Occidental.

A report from the 303rd Brigade of the Philippine Army said they received information of alleged NPA presence in the area.

It added that while conducting combat operations, the joint elements of the Army’s 15th Infantry Battalion; 604th PNP Regional Mobile Force Company, and Kabankalan City PNP arrested Abraham Villanueva alias Tikboy and Gamay.

Villanueva is the alleged secretary of South West Front of the NPA in Candoni-Hinoba-an-Ilog,Cauayan-Kabankalan-Sipalay (CHICKS area).

Two other alleged NPA members were also arrested with Villanueva – Rona “Cheche” Magbanua, 18, of Brgy. Asia, Hinoba-an; and Jomar “Tiny” Villarojo, 28, of Brgy Camansi, Kabankalan City.

The trio wore black NPA sweatshirts printed with PKP or Partido Komunista ng Pilipinas@50 and black jogging pants when they were captured.

Recovered from their possession were a caliber 45 pistol with magazine and five ammunitions and three hand grenades.

Earlier that day, the 15th Infantry Battalion conducted pursuit operations and encountered more or less 20 NPA members in a 20-minute firefight at Brgy Tampalon, Kabankalan City, at around 5:50 a.m. Tuesday.

After the armed clash, the NPAs withdrew towards Sitio Amian Ilawod of same barangay, leaving behind the following assorted firearms and personal items.