Bacolod City – A suspected leader of the New People’s Army and his wife died in renewed armed clashes in Himamaylan City, Negros Occidental, while another was killed in an encounter over the weekend in Libacao, Aklan, the Philippine Army reported recently.
The fourth encounter since March 25 and 26 in Himamaylan City claimed the lives of Elbert Nicolas Quillano, alias Carding, deputy secretary of the Central Negros (Front) 2, and his wife Jessa Quillano, alias Clea, a medical officer of Sentro De Grabidad Platoon of CN2, under the Komiteng Rehiyonal- Negros/Cebu/Bohol/Siquijor, according to 303rd Infantry Brigade commander Brig. Gen. Inocencio Pasaporte.
Pasaporte disclosed that the renewed armed clashes between 20 NPA rebels and combined forces of the 94th and 79th Infantry Battalions took place in Sitio Kulihaw, Brgy. Buenavista, Himamaylan City, after government authorities were informed by residents in the community of the presence of the armed group in their community.
Recovered from the encounter site were two caliber .45 pistols, a Lenovo tablet, two cellular phones, a Baofeng radio, assorted medicines and subversive documents, as well as personal belongings, aside from the cadavers of the two slain rebels.
On March 26, two suspected NPA rebels who are brothers also died in a gunbattle with Army soldiers in neighboring Sitio Maglikoliko, Brgy. Carabalan, Himamaylan City.
Lt. Col. Van Donald Almonte, 94IB commander, disclosed that alias Karding has three pending arrest warrants for homicide, genocide and crimes against humanity, and trafficking of persons, while his wife was also identified as recruiter of the NPA in Brgy. Buenavista, Himamaylan City.
Almonte said that the death of alias Carding is another huge setback to the dwindling ranks of the CPP-NPA operating in central Negros.
On the other hand, Pasaporte said that Army soldiers and the Himamaylan City Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict are harmonizing their peace and development efforts to end local armed conflict in Himamaylan City, with the onset of May 9 elections.
Himamaylan City is among the 18 local government units tagged by authorities as among the potential election hotspots in Negros Occidental.
On the other hand, the identity of the rebel killed during an encounter with 31st Division Recon Company also on April 1 in Brgy. Dalaga-an, Libacao, Aklan, has not been established as of press time.
A 12-gauge shotgun with ammunition, a back pack and other war materials were recovered from the encounter site, according to a report of the Army’s 3rd Infantry Division. (Gilbert Bayoran via tvds photo by tvds)